A talented Biology graduate from Edge Hill University has completely changed her career path after the University paid for her to complete a work experience placement in Japan.
Jazmin Kean who graduated this summer with a First in BSc (Hons) Human Biology was planning a Masters focussing on the study of mosquito borne diseases.
But after studying DNA repair proteins responsible for hereditary cancers in Tokoyo she has now switched to a Biomedical Masters.
“I spent last summer working as a Research Assistant in Edge Hill’s Biology department which was really helpful to my final year of study, so I was really keen to arrange another placement this summer.
“I was desperately trying to arrange a volunteer placement related to mosquitoes but it’s really difficult to be accepted anywhere at undergraduate level. I came across an old 2014 advert for a placement studying proteins in Ochanomizu University in Tokoyo and dropped them an email on the off-chance.
“To my great surprise they came back and offered me a six week placement assisting their PhD students studying the DNA of the repair protein BRCA 1 which is an indicator of hereditary ovarian and breast cancers.
“But with it being in Japan I would never have been able to afford to go without the help of the University’s Student Opportunity Fund.”
Jazmin found herself working under one of Japan’s leading genome and bioinformatics Professors, Kei Yura.
“It was an amazing experience. They made me feel very welcome and although the lectures were in Japanese they give me a Macbook so I had everything in English and I met with Prof Yura each week.
“I was responsible for gathering information and existing research on BRCA 1 and I absolutely loved it. I never thought that I’d want to study protein science and bioinformatics (a combination of computer science, programming and statistics to interpret biological data) but something just clicked.
“That’s why I’ve switched my Masters and I’ve just moved to Glasgow to study Biomedical Science and I hope to specialise in cancer research.”
She added: “I can’t thank Edge Hill enough for funding my flight and accommodation but more than that, for helping me decide on my future career direction. Thanks to that placement I was able to demonstrate my interest and background in protein science to change course and I’m sure it will help me when I apply for future placements.”
Earlier this year, Edge Hill launched the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) to enable students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills.