Full news listing
“The next study I work on could help revolutionise how we treat a certain disease."
“The brain is an incredible organ, there is so much we don’t know about it. There will always be something for scientists to research.”
Sherin Abdelbadiee, 22, has just finished a three year biomedicine degree in the School of Life Sciences. She says she was inspired to study the brain after picking up a book about it in a charity shop when she was a teenager.
“I’d always found the brain really cool. When I was younger I bought a 1940s book about it from a charity shop. In it they drew a lot of boxes for the brain and likened it to a machine. I think we’ve come a long way since then, but there’s still so much to find out, especially when things go wrong like in disease.”
Following a gap year when she worked as a research assistant at Barnett Hospital, Sherin, who is originally from Egypt and grew up mostly in London, decided to apply to study at the University of Sussex.
“I liked the research aspect of my placement at the hospital in London and I wanted to carry on down this road. I really wanted to go to a university that is known for its research and Sussex is a very research forward institution especially with regards to life sciences.”
Throughout her time at Sussex, Sherin ensured she took every opportunity to undertake research, taking part in the University’s Junior Research Associates Scheme (JRA), which enables undergraduates to work alongside faculty staff on research projects over the summer.
After applying for the JRA, Sherin was chosen to work on an Alzheimer’s disease project, researching a novel association of a brain protein called tau in the disease.
Sherin said: “No two people would have the same experience with Alzheimer’s disease, as no two people have the same brain. Because of our aging population the disease is becoming more prevalent, so it’s important to research the causes of it and to find a cure. It was really exciting to be doing research on this so early on in my career.”
Sherin credits the JRA scheme for helping her to mature as a scientist: “I really liked the fact I met with other scientists who were walking the path I want to walk and that I was ultimately in charge of my own research. I may even be credited on an academic paper soon, which is great!”
Inspired by her degree at Sussex, Sherin is now set to study a five year medicine degree at the University of Leeds. She says: “I want to marry research and medicine. I want to be a doctor and as well as having my own research patients. Doctors are becoming principal investigators more and more now.
“It means the next study I work on could help revolutionise how we treat a certain disease. Watching your own patients get better would be something really special.”