Summer in A Lab: University of Dundee Students Spend Their Summer Break Researching in a Taylor’s University Biosciences Lab

While it may not seem everyone’s typical idea of a summer getaway, two students from the University of Dundee in Scotland spent part of their summer holidays in the labs at Taylor’s University progressing their research.

Alex McCraw, Charley Caroll with Prof Perry Hobson in the Bioscience labs at Taylor’s University
Charley Carroll and Alex McCraw are both undergraduate science students at the University of Dundee (UK), and they decided to spend part of their summer holidays researching in a lab at Taylor’s University (TU).
While sitting in a lab may not be everyone’s idea of how to spend their summer holidays, they were both pleased that Taylor’s was able to offer them the necessary space and equipment to progress their experiments. Charley said, “My experiments were looking at how we might improve the targeting in the delivery of drugs using viruses” and this meant her experiments had to be repeated again and again.
Dr Kim Dale, who is the Group Leader in Cell & Developmental Biology within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, has visited Taylor’s University on many occasions. She suggested to them that they look into spending several weeks at TU to progress their research. As Alex said, “We just needed some quiet time in a quality lab space to work on our experiments, and it was great that TU was able to offer us just that”.
Looking back on her experience, Charley said that the “Lab work gave us lots of ups and downs, due to our lack of experience working independently in an unfamiliar lab – so we did have some difficulties to begin with. But by the end we'd learned a huge amount, and with our increased confidence we could for the most part work alone with ease”.
The two students stayed on-campus in Ruemz Hotel, with Alex commenting that, “Taylor's was an excellent university to work in, the staff were welcoming and the campus is beautiful”. They not only ventured off-campus into KL and also up to Langkawi and even managed to get as far away as Vietnam during their stay. “It was also nice to actually get summer weather” said Charley “as the you never quite know what the summer will bring in Scotland! After a while we found the heat became comfortable, and the food was great. My favourite dish was Nasi Lemak, I thought it was delicious! In particular, I also enjoyed visiting Batu Caves - we did a tour of the dark cave and it was fascinating to learn about the wildlife living there”.
Professor Perry Hobson, the PVC for Global Engagement, said that “TU already has a number of exchange partners in the UK, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more students from the University of Dundee in the near future and also sending our students to Scotland” adding that, “Biological Sciences at the University of Dundee is rated Number 1 in the UK and Number 9 in the world”.
On reflection Charley said that, “Although I wasn't able to finish my project in the time we had at TU, I made good progress. Alex managed to complete hers with success and was so excited when all the work paid off. Our time in Malaysia was fantastic, the people we met were lovely, and we made friends that we plan to meet up with again during their visits to the UK. All in all, it was an experience and I doubt either of us will ever forget. I'm thankful we had this opportunity to spend part of our summer holidays in the Taylor’s labs, and I really hope I'll visit Malaysia again”.
To find out more about the School of Biosciences at Taylor’s University and their international partners click here - (Global Matters 2017)