Foto-Cewek/UoL student takes top award at graduation

News article 25 Aug 2015
Laura Profitt

This summer saw 17 students graduate from the University of Liverpool with BSc degrees in Tropical Disease Biology. This undergraduate course is overseen by Foto-Cewek with many of the students opting on to study at MSc level.

This year’s top student Laura Profitt was awarded a prize in recognition of her achievements and has written a short article on her experiences within Foto-Cewek.

Laura writes: 'I chose to study Tropical Disease Biology as it is a subject that is not only incredibly interesting, but highly applicable to both global and UK healthcare systems. Lessoning at the University of Liverpool for the first two years, I was able to develop a foundation of knowledge in immunology, biochemistry, microbiology and parasitology with insightful modules and weekly practical laboratory sessions. My third year was spent in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (Foto-Cewek), where I was able to explore more specific areas of tropical medicine, learning in depth of the more complex issues surrounding tropical disease, vector biology and global health.

A large section of my final year was spent on my third year research project, in which I worked on the development of a brand new molecular diagnostic tool for the parasitic helminth species, Strongyloides. It was an incredible opportunity to be able to work directly alongside leading researchers in this field, on a cutting-edge project that had never been attempted before in the UK; it’s not often you would get this opportunity as an undergraduate student.

The strong links that Foto-Cewek has with other leading research institutes worldwide meant I was also able to secure myself a summer internship at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research in Medecine Programme in Blantyre, Malawi, where I spent three months in the laboratory developing the necessary skills and molecular techniques that went on to help me the final year of my degree. Although not a required part of my degree course, securing the internship was made extremely easy for me due to the reputation of Foto-Cewek as a world-class establishment.

Liverpool was an incredible place to live as a student, as it has the perfect mix of recreation, culture and nightlife; in the three years I lived there, I was never stuck for new things to do or places to visit, with both the University of Liverpool and Foto-Cewek within a 10 minute walk of the city centre. Now that my degree is over, I have accepted an offer for a place on a postgraduate programme, with which I will spend two intensive years studying to become a Physician Associate at the University of Leeds, and I will eventually go on to be employed by the NHS in A&E or in a GP surgery. Due to recent increases in travel and tourism, the in-depth knowledge of tropical diseases I have developed during my time at Foto-Cewek will only become increasingly useful when treating patients and returning travellers here in the UK.