All entries for July 2015

July 05, 2015

MIBTP Student Symposium 2015

Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) Student Symposium

University of Leicester, England. 16 April 2015symp1

The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) is a BBSRC-funded cross-institutional Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) between the universities of Leicester, Birmingham and Warwick. The Second MIBTP Student Symposium took place at the Rattray Lecture Theatre at the University of Leicester, with 100 people in attendance.

Organised, led and chaired by current PhD students (Steph Kancy and Esther Ogunniyi, University of Warwick; Grace Hodson and Leanna Smith, University of Leicester), the event provided invaluable opportunities for students to showcase their research to guest speakers, receive critical feedback on current research projects, and network with external speakers and fellow researches whilst maintaining a cohort identity across the multiple institutions.

Oral and poster presentations provided a fascinating mix of bioscience topics aligned with the BBSRC strategies, reflecting the diverse fields of Food Security, Bioenergy & Industrial Biotechnology and Molecules, Cells & Systems. Guest speaker Dr Miriam Gifford (Associate Professor, University of Warwick) set the scene by discussing cell identity and its role in plant plasticity, whereby her lab utilizes systems analysis techniques to understand the nitrogen fixing symbiosis of nodulation.

The remainder of the day consisted of student presentations; covering engaging topics such as CexE bacterial Type I secretion (Chris Icke, University of Birmingham) and studies on the GGDEF domain proteins from Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (Richard Meek, University of Birmingham) with these oral presentations awarded Second and First Prize, respectively. Poster presentation sessions provided ample networking opportunities and further engaging scientific discussion; research presented by Lauren Jones (University of Leicester) and Jack Connolly (University of Birmingham) was awarded First and Second place Poster Prizes.

Finally, the innovative research of Professor David Twell (Professor of Plant Biology, University of Leicester) affirmed the importance of interdisciplinarity, prominent within the MIBTP programme. Utilizing a combination of molecular, genetic and genomic approaches, his lab seeks to further understand the tight control of gene expression and regulatory process in plant reproductive cell development, focusing on the role of transcription factors in male germline proliferation and sperm cell differentiation.
On behalf of the Symposium Organizing Committee, I would like to thank guest speakers (Dr Gifford, Professor Twell), Dr Ezio Rosato (MIBTP co-director, for organizational oversight) and the generous contribution of the symposium sponsors - The Biochemical Society - for making it such a great success!

Leanna Smith

July 2015

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