Submitted by Salma

Biology Personal Statement

Submitted by Salma

From the time of the Black Plague to the current crisis regarding the Zika virus, humanity has always been on the quest to find the best cures for fatal diseases. The Zika virus can bring insight into the dark matter of human development as it can selectively infect and kill cancerous cells in the glioblastoma through the complex process of apoptosis. It is this drive for innovative research and thinking that has led me to have a great interest in Biology and the human body, which is why I want to read Biochemistry at university.

Our thoughts, actions and behaviours are governed by the brain’s ability to process information, and I am fascinated by how the disruption of these particular processes can result in a variety of mental illnesses. This is why I studied Psychology alongside Chemistry, which has taught me the importance of analytical thinking, and data analyses, which I believe are highly valuable skills for research. Studying Biology has enabled me to have an insight into diverse topics such as the basic cellular processes to complex bodily systems. One topic, which sparked my intrigue, was the role of mutations in causing life-changing illnesses. For example Sickle Cell anaemia is a genetic disease that occurs as a natural mutation of the haemoglobin gene resulting in a number of symptoms such as dactylitis and splenic sequestration. Understanding the relationship between the structure of the human body and disease further intrigued me to research beyond the A level syllabus. By studying these three subjects it has allowed me to become more resourceful, particularly due to the effective time-management required to study these subjects alongside working part time, all of which I believe are critical to my future personal development as a scientist.

Furthermore, I understand that commitment, patience and technical ability are key skills for succeeding in this course, which is why work experience is valuable. Thus, to better grasp what a Biochemistry degree would entail, I arranged a placement at UCB where I shadowed PhD students and consultants. Observing groundbreaking clinical laboratory work and research, gave me the opportunity to understand the important role scientists have in diagnosing and treating diseases. Understanding the synthesis behind the creation of Aspirin and being able to have the opportunity to produce this drug enabled me to appreciate the complex nature and the accuracy behind this procedure. I also developed my communication skills by producing and displaying a presentation based upon medical research to professionals, helping me gain a greater insight into the industry.

Beyond the academic field, I have completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award at the Bronze level, illustrating my dedication to completing tasks as well as improving upon my teamwork and gaining valuable interpersonal skills. Also, volunteering at a charity shop for 6 months and working part time at Legoland have again taught me the importance of prioritizing my time for both work and study.

Photography is what I find most fascinating due to how quickly a moment can be captured and saved for generations. An image can be interpreted in so many diverse ways and evoke a number of emotions in a person. Therefore, I would love to have the opportunity to further continue this passion at university by joining a photography society. Furthermore, it can help benefit my degree choice as I have gained meticulous attention to detail and can produce highly accurate work when under pressure, which has enhanced my laboratory skills.

As a woman of faith, I hold dear the saying ‘Every disease has a cure’. This quote gives me every hope and determination that, with enough perseverance and time, progress can be made in our understanding of curing diseases. As an aspiring biochemical scientist, I am very much looking forward to every aspect university has to offer in developing my skills both personally and academically.

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