Hello! I'm Nick Sillett and I'm currently in the first year of four in the interdisciplinary biomedical research doctoral training partnership funded by the MRC.
In 2011 I began a three year Medical Biochemistry (BSc) degree at the University of Leicester. I studied a wide range of topics, most were biochemistry based but I also elected to focus a large portion of my degree on genetics. My final year dissertation project was spent researching proteins involved in inducing senescence, a physiological process that has been implicated in the symptoms of human ageing. I graduated in the summer of 2014 with a first class honours as well as being awarded the Medical Biochemistry prize for the best experimental dissertation project of that year.
In the summer of 2013, I spent time working in Daniel Fisher's cell cycle lab in Montpellier. Throughout my stay I assisted the ongoing research of Vjekoslav Dulic, and during the process I learnt a whole host of laboratory techniques which stood me in good stead to tackle my upcoming dissertation project.
I began my MSc year of my course here at Warwick in late September 2014 and have enjoyed every minute of it. This year has been focused on building a skillset with which I can meet the demands of modern scientific research. This involves learning diverse topics such as large scale data analysis, modern microscopic techniques, complex mathematical modelling and statistical analysis, as well as many others.
Summer Lab Rotations
The latter half of my MSc year was spent doing two 12 week placements in different labs at the university. I spent the first working with Giacomo de Piccoli in the Medical School, which was titled: "Utilising a 2-step IP Method to Investigate Post-Translational Modification of the Yeast Replication Complex". This was a primarily biochemical project, in which I attempted to purify the machinery that replicates DNA in budding yeast. This was so I could examine any potential post-translational modifications that occurred when replication stress was induced.
My second project was spent in Andrew McAinsh's lab in the Mechanochemical Cell Biology Building where I worked using quantitative immunofluorescence techniques to assess the function of kinetochore proteins. The project was titled: "The identification of a possible Ndc80-like microtubule binding domain on CENP-Q" and, using the techniques mentioned earlier, was focused on investigating the function a structural part of a kinetochore protein that was played a role in aligning chromosomes to the cell's equator as it divides.
N dot Sillett at warwick dot ac dot uk