Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

President’s prize winners

These prizes are awarded to students graduating from IBMS-accredited BSc (Hons) programmes who have achieved academic distinction.

A university’s first cohort York St John University

November 2018 saw the first graduation from the newly-established biomedical science programme at York St John University. This first cohort of students joined the university in 2015 and completed the three-year version of the programme, with fellow students taking the four-year (with placement) route to complete the IBMS training portfolio and allow them to register with the HCPC after graduation in 2019.

The biomedical science degree is the first biology-based science programme at York St John University and the academic and technical team have created the laboratory space, designed the programme and organised various placement routes through the course to broaden the portfolio of the university and enhance the employability of the students.

The first cohort have achieved excellent results, from 12 students they were awarded seven first class, four 2.1s and one 2.2 honours degrees.

The biomedical science programme also received outstanding National Student Survey (NSS) results with 14 of the 27 questions asked, receiving a 100% satisfaction score and no question about the programme receiving a score of less than 88% satisfaction.

Several students have gone on to secure postgraduate study in MSc or Physician Associate courses or found employment in NHS and industry laboratories locally. The highest achieving student was Sophie Dods, who graduated with first class honours and was awarded the President’s Prize for York St John University. She is pictured with Deborah Cammish, Head Biomedical Scientist, Microbiology, York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who presented the prize in York Minster before the graduation ceremony. Sophie’s identical twin sister Chloe also graduated with first class honours.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Azziza Ziad Zaabalawi received the IBMS President’s Prize following her graduation with a first class BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree from Manchester Metropolitan University. The highlight of her studies was her final year project in the area of hypertension, entitled “Investigating the influence of Resveratrol on vasodilator function after tension elevation in murine aortic vessel”. This has given Azziza a passion for cardiovascular research and she intends to pursue a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, continuing her training within this very interesting and beneficial area of research.​ Azziza received the prize from IBMS North West Council Member David Eccleston.


University of Kent

Keith Sai Kit Leung was awarded the IBMS President’s Prize at the University of Kent. The accredited degree helped him to gain a supplementary medical professional qualification in his home country, Hong Kong, as a medical laboratory technologist. While enrolled at the University of Kent, Keith completed a number of summer placements which enabled him to conduct biomedical research in various specialities such as obstetrics and gynaecology, pathology and cardiology. All these research experiences has inspired him to become a clinician-scientist in the future. Currently, Keith is a first-year medical student at Aston Medical School, and hopes to get accepted into the academic foundation programme.


University of the West of England

Biomedical science is a second career for Maja Orna, the winner of the IBMS President’s Prize at the University of the West of England. After practising as a midwife for five years, she knew it wasn’t for her and arranged a day visit in a microbiology laboratory at Southmead Hospital, Bristol. Maja immediately felt at home and decided there and then on the big career change. She applied for the University of the West of England BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science course. Maja had the opportunity to undertake her placement in the very same lab at Southmead Hospital that had inspired her.

Her hard work and newly-found passion for microbiology resulted in a first-class degree and two prizes (IBMS President’s Prize and the Microbiology Society Prize in her second year). Maja’s commitment and enthusiasm throughout her placement was rewarded when she successfully secured a biomedical scientist post six months before graduating and, quite remarkably, in the very same laboratory she fell in love with microbiology. She is pictured with Michael Palmer, from the IBMS Southwest Region.

Sheffield Hallam University

Katie Hudson was awarded the IBMS President’s Prize by Margaret Hunt, Chair of the IBMS Sheffield Branch at the Sheffield Hallam University awards ceremony. Katie graduated with a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree which included a placement year working with the Sheffield Myeloma Research Team at the University of Sheffield. Her project during her placement was the “Development of an in vivo plateau phase model of multiple myeloma”, this work was carried through to her final year project where she looked at the molecular changes after bone anabolic and chemotherapy treatment in a mouse model of myeloma bone disease. Katie started a PhD at Sheffield Hallam Univeristy in October 2018. Her research is elucidating the intrinsic role of immune biomarkers in human cancers. Following her PhD, Katie would like to pursue a career in academia. Katie is pictured with Professor Susan Laird, Head of Department of Biosciences and Chemistry and Margaret Hunt, Chair of the Sheffield Branch.

University of Westminster

Monica Desir was awarded the IBMS President’s Prize at a University of Westminster ceremony earlier in the year. Monica was honoured that her hard work was recognised and following graduation, she aims to continue her education with postgraduate study in microbiology and immunology. Monica said that she “still aspires to become a biomedical scientist, as they play a vital role in healthcare.” Sue Alexander from the London Region awarded the prize on behalf of the President.

Related Articles