Nuffield Placement provides valuable research insight

Year 14 pupil Bence Tasnadi used his recent summer holidays to get hands on medical research experience through participating in the Nuffield Research Placements.

Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Projects take place in the summer holidays and must have broadly scientific or technical content, but they don't have to be based in a laboratory. They might be office-based or include fieldwork, or they might focus on engineering, data science or computer science.

Bence was placed the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at the Queen's University, Belfast. While there he completed a research project on the effects of radiation on the cellular architecture and remodelling of the bladder under the supervision of the Deputy Director of the CCRCB, Professor Karen McCloskey.

Cancers of the pelvic region are commonly treated with radiation therapy. Whilst often successful in killing the tumour, radiation will also hit the surrounding normal tissue. During treatment of pelvic malignancies, the bladder’s close proximity to other structures, including the prostate means that is it unavoidably irradiated during radiation therapy. Many patients have radiation-induced bladder toxicity during their treatment which manifests as symptoms including urgency, haematuria, frequency, nocturia and urinary incontinence. The aim of Bence's study was to investigate remodelling of the cellular architecture of the bladder wall after radiation.

Out of over 1000 research students taking part Bence was one of a group of only five students who were selected to present his research at the Royal Society in London. The Royal Society, which is the world's oldest independent scientific academy, is dedicated to promoting excellence in science and its fellows include Professor Brian Cox and Sir David Attenborough.

Congratulations to Bence on this incredible achievement. We look forward to hearing about his trip when he returns in early December.



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