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MSc Work

Learning 8 modules, a lot of which consists of entirely new material, in 20 weeks is not an easy task. However, MOAC is geared to help you accomplish this. Having a maths background certainly helps, but all the modules are taught at a very general level and assessment is set to maximise learning. The modules on data acquisition were my personal favourites, but all the modules are interesting in some form, from personalised maths projects to working in (not always perfectly harmonious) groups on posters and presentations. We even had the experience of writing a grant application and then being part of a mock review committee.

The mini projects allowed us to experience what it would be like to work in each of the departments associated with MOAC.


Bio Mini-Project: Supervised by Dr. Corinne Smith.

The goal was to examine the temporal dissociation of clathrin vesicles in the presence of auxilin, hsc70 and ATP. This involved

  • purifying the vesicle protein clathrin from frozen pig brain and auxilin from suitably expressed E. coli cells using a combination of centrifugation, gel filtration and dialysis,
  • observing the change in scattering intensity, using a fluorimeter, as auxilin, hsc70 and ATP are added to clathrin cages and
  • attempting to figure out a mechanism to describe the observations.

The results and procedure are summarized in a poster [PDF] which, along with a presentation, was presented at the annual MOAC conference.


Maths Mini-Project: Supervised by Dr. Luca Sbano.

This was a continuation of the bio mini-project, in that the data obtained was analysed using various mathematical tools and different models were constructed in order to fit the theoretical results to the experimental. The objective was to present a suitable model to describe the dynamics of the clathrin-auxilin system. The assessment was in the form of a thesis [PDF].


Chemistry Mini-Project: Supervised by Prof. Alison Rodger.

The aim was to investigate the fluid flow inside 3 different rotating linear dichroism (LD) cells. This was done by

  • attempting to observe the actual flow pattern in the cell using an illuminated rheoscopic fluid and
  • obtaining LD spectra for DNA and Ethidiumbromide-bound DNA

at varying rotation speeds.

The results were presented as a journal article [PDF] and led to my current research.


All my supervisors and their lab groups were amazing to work with, especially Luca.