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During the summer we took on board a couple of students to give them some work experience in a lab environment. Below is a blog post from James, who gives an overview of himself and his time with us:

“I’m a 16 year old IB student, Nuffield Health and Sutton Trust US Programme Scholar from Plymouth. Living on a boat, I’ve grown up with an interest in Marine Biology and Biomedicine which is the reason I applied for a research placement at Biovault. As part of my role as a Nuffield Health Research Programme student, I undertook a four-week research project at Biovault during summer 2015. My investigation was a data-based study of Biovault’s records to assess what effect particular factors, such as maternal age, gestation period and birth weight, have on the success of Biovault’s storage process, the future viabilities of samples and the stem cell count of samples they receive.

As part of my project at Biovault, I was trained in their lab operations and storage processes in order to provide the necessary context to my report. I’ve learnt the steps involved in flow cytometry, aseptic technique, cord blood and tissue sample handling, cryopreservation, composite statistical analysis, flurochromal staining and sterilisation.

Not only has the experience served as a crucial background to my report on stem cell storage but it has also provided me with an invaluable insight into the world of cryobiology and the biomedical field. Secondary education never truly gives you any experience of the real-world work that companies like Biovault are performing. So for me, this experience has been brilliant in giving me an understanding of this industry and although intense, the process has taught me a lot about a field I now intend to continue to learn about in higher education.

The research, report and work experience that Biovault facilitated has prepared me really well to continue with my application for higher education in the United States. ”

We wish James all the best with his future academical and professional career.