Manchester researcher takes gold for biology display in Parliament

Dean with MP Rosie WintertonA University palaeontologist won the gold award at the SET for Britain competition on Monday March 9. Mentored by Faculty scientist Dr David Penney, Dean Lomax presented his research to a panel of judges at the House of Commons and claimed the £3000 prize.

The SET for Britain competition aims to improve the understanding of our politicians when it comes to the UK’s thriving science and engineering scene.  It rewards the excellent research being done in the country.

Dean’s research focused on how he discovered a new species of Ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile. It was judged against 59 other shortlisted researchers’ work. Dean said:

“It is truly an honour to win this prestigious award. To think that my research has been acknowledged in such a prominent capacity helps to show the importance of palaeontology, and that what I contribute has meaning. This has given me an incredible boost to continue to aim high, work hard, and communicate further the study of the science I love. This is a win for British palaeontology. Thank you to everybody involved; what a magnificent event.”

PhD student Sarah Fox gets SET for BRITAIN

setforbritainSarah Fox will have a chance to present a poster of her research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges at SET for BRITAIN 2014. SET for BRITAIN is a prestigious national science competition, run by The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in collaboration with a number of other institutions, which recognises and rewards Britain’s most talented early-career scientists. Sarah will exhibit her research poster entitled “EEG as a tool for early Alzheimer’s diagnostics and drug development”. Sarah’s work highlights the possibility to detect changes in communication between regions of the brain associated with memory formation prior to the appearance of usual Alzheimer’s diagnostic markers, such as memory alternations and build-up of amyloid plagues in the brain. This research could also be used to aid the development of drugs for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s.

Sarah’s poster will be judged alongside other early-stage researchers from across the UK in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Session of the competition. On taking part in the competition, Sarah said:

“I’m excited to be representing Manchester and bringing our research to the people who can influence policy. I hope I can use this opportunity to explain the necessity for both basic and applied research, especially with regard to neuroscience, where the exploration and understanding of basic brain mechanisms is essential to help focus future applied research.”

We wish Sarah luck in the competition!