A summer of genome editing

The School of Biology hosted Nabihah Akhtar, a 6th year pupil at Glenwood High School in Glenrothes, for 4 weeks this Summer on a Nuffield Foundation Research Placement. These placements are particularly aimed at pupils without a family history of going to university or who attend schools in less well-off areas, and provide over 1,000 pupils each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Nabihah’s project in the MacNeill lab in the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex saw her using cutting-edge CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology (being used elsewhere to repair damaged genes in human embryos) to delete previously unstudied genes encoding conserved microproteins in fission yeast, giving her first-hand experience of on- and off-target effects encountered during the editing process.

Nabihah presented her results at the Nuffield Research Placement 2017 Celebration Event at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh at the end of August, where she was presented with a certificate by Rolls-Royce STEM Ambassador Dr Andrew Russell.

Sponsor: The Nuffield Foundation
Photographs: Alan Richardson Photography