My name is Ben Stevens, I was a student at Cardiff Met for 4 years where I achieved a BSc in Biomedical Sciences with Health, Exercise and Nutrition and recently, an MRes in Biomedical Science.
When I was in Sixth form studying for my A levels, I was convinced that I wanted to pursue sports nutrition and exercise physiology at university. I spent a lot of time searching for courses that could give me what I wanted but I was unable to find a course that had a mix of sports science and biomedical science. Eventually I found the course: Biomedical Sciences with Health, Exercise and Nutrition at Cardiff Met. So I applied and was accepted and was eager to begin my studies!
In the first few months of the course, I quickly realised that whilst I was passionate about sports nutrition, I had a new found interest in biochemistry and physiology; an interest fuelled by fascinating lectures delivered by passionate lecturers. I was impressed by how the course was structured, it was the perfect blend of nutrition and exercise science and cellular biology. My first year opened my eyes to the world of biomedical science and to the importance of laboratory research.
During my second year I became more interested in biomedical sciences, but the unique focus of the program made me consider the effects of exercise and nutrition in both health and disease. I was set on getting some hands-on research experience, so I started to approach lecturers about potential summer internships. After speaking to several lecturers, I spoke with Dr. Cathryn Withycombe who is now the program director for Biomedical Sciences with Health, Exercise and Nutrition who had obtained some funding for a summer internship, the project was focused on studying the effects of low-calorie sweeteners on a biological process called angiogenesis, a process that is involved in many diseases including cancer.
In my final year, I continued with the work that I began the previous summer to complete my dissertation. The most noticeable change that I noticed in my final year was the swift change in teaching style and approach to problem solving, the independence we were given has shaped the way that I think as a scientist.
After graduating from the course, I enrolled in the Master of research (Biomedical Science) program where I undertook a 6-month lab-based project. My project looked at how (high) blood sugar could affect cells of the immune system.
Since graduating from the MRes program I have moved to Boston, Massachusetts, USA to work in a Biotech company called Cedilla Therapeutics where we are trying to discover new drugs to treat types of cancer that are currently difficult to treat.