Hanan's story: Research Access Programme 2022

Hanan's story: Research Access Programme 2022

Hanan's story: Research Access Programme 2022

My name is Hanan and as of July 2022, I graduated from studying Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience. I applied to the Babraham Institute through In2research where I had the opportunity to choose a placement with Dr Rachael Walker and the Flow Cytometry facility

My project 

My project involved working with all the different machines available in the lab and investigating their efficacies. I had never worked with flow cytometry, so it was a brilliant learning opportunity. My team was always ready to help me and was very welcoming from the very first day.  

My experience 

This placement has been an amazing experience overall.  One of my favourite aspects was being able to attend a Flow Cytometry UK conference in Birmingham at the end of July 2022, where I stayed in a hotel alongside Commonwealth athletes! The conference was a great networking opportunity and an amazing opportunity to hear about all the various pathways the speakers took to become who they are today. One of my favourite talks centred around a citizen science project and using flow cytometry to help scientists with COVID-19 data. This was instilled in an online game called EVE where players were told to gate around clusters of cells to win rewards. As of May 2021, this saved scientists an average of 330 years’ worth of research into how the immune system responds to COVID-19. It was intriguing to learn about such a fantastic way to involve more people in scientific research. 

How my placement has helped me 

Like many students, I had no clue what career pathway to pursue and what to do after I graduated. Choosing this placement allowed me to be exposed to various scientific careers and potential pathways in further research, but also beyond research. The many talks organised by the Public Engagement team gave great advice, such as hearing from Peter Evans, a former group leader at the Institute and now the Graduate Studies tutor, about his travel adventures whilst conducting research. I would recommend this programme to anyone who needs further exposure to science and all it holds. You won’t regret it!