Senior Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Cassandra Gould van Praag from the Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Laboratory (PERL) designed a project to help a work experience student, Emma Kemp, to understand how engineering expertise may be applied in psychiatric neuroimaging.
Emma who is preparing for an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, spent two weeks in the lab investigating novel and existing medicines for the treatment of depression using brain imaging experiments.
Emma was tasked to apply a new automated technique for determining the quality of brain imaging data, and see how this compares to manual data quality assessments. Over the course of the project Emma was learning computer programming, how to work on a remote high performance computing cluster, understanding the physics behind magnetic resonance imaging data collection and how it can go wrong, and practising her skills in summarising and presenting research findings. She also gained excellent first hand experience with software, systems and practices which are essential to conducting high quality, transparent and reproducible neuroimaging.
I've had such an amazing time here with Cass and the team. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to get an insight into an industry I would not have otherwise considered looking into.
"Emma showed excellent initiative and commitment during her placement, and it was very rewarding to see her confidence and expertise grow. I hope that this experience will stay with her and she will remember how much fun it can be working on something you are really passionate about!" said Cassandra.
In2Science UK is an award winning charity which empowers students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their potential and progress to STEM and research careers through high quality work placements and career guidance.