Explorative research on apparently simple questions can sometimes reveal itself as having a huge, readily applicable impact. This was the case for the research work initiated as an undergraduate student project, on a model of muscle cells grown in vitro. The project, undertaken by the student Jordan Schofield, has been recognised by the Royal Society of Biology as the ‘Student Top Accreditation Award’.
The award seeks to acknowledge outstanding research work of undergraduate biologists by publicly recognising their skills and abilities and inspire them into pursuing a career in science.
Award recipient student Jordan Schofield was accompanied and celebrated by Dr Aida Rajic, BSc (Hons) Bioscience Course Leader and Director of Life Science Robert Ellis during the ceremony held at the House of Commons, Westminster Palace last month.
Jordan, who studied on the BSc (Hons) Bioscience programme, was awarded together with students from several universities across the UK for his undergraduate thesis work.
His investigation looked into a model of muscle cells grown in vitro and exposed to selected electromagnetic fields. This achievement inspired Jordan to continue his education at the University of Suffolk and he has started a Masters in Regenerative Medicine, allowing him to continue the work in this area under the lead of Dr Federica Masieri.
Jordan said, “I was both elated and proud when I received news that I was to be awarded by the Royal Society of Biology and was honoured to be presented with the award at a ceremony held in the House of Commons. I am greatly encouraged by the dedication that the Royal Society of Biology has for science in East Anglia and I am extremely grateful for their recognition. Of course, this achievement is not all of my own undertaking; I would like to thank the School of Science Technology and Engineering, especially Dr Aida Rajic and Dr Federica Masieri, as well as my family for their unwavering support and inspiration.”
Jordan’s work was developed into a research project led by Dr Masieri in collaboration with an Italian company leader in the field of medical biophysics and with the input from colleagues working at King’s College London. The project was supported in part by the University of Suffolk’s Foundation Board.
The results were presented at the OARSI (Osteoarthritis Research Society International World) Congress, held in Liverpool and published as a supplement in the prominent medical journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
Dr Masieri said “It is fantastic to see that our work has been recognised in such an eminent convention: it is the proof that our University of Suffolk Science students are exposed to forefront research. The results of this study may open up new avenues of helping muscle repair and we are very excited to take it forward with our students and collaborators.”
In September Jordan Schofield and fellow MSc Regenerative Medicine student, Jamie Ballisat, will present their work at the prestigious European Orthopaedic Research Society Conference in Ireland.