PhD student wins Royal Society of Biology Poster Walks competition

30 students showcased their posters to the public at the University of Lincoln this week, with a number of students attending from our University.

Two cash prizes were on offer for the winner and runner up, with the top spot taken by our very own Robeena Farzand (pictured), a final year PhD student in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, who set out to win from the start.

Robeena said: "I wanted to win for the University of Leicester as I have learnt a lot during my time here. This event was great training for me to learn how to talk about my complex research in bacterial genetics and translate it into normal language."

Robeena now feels confident she can take part in other science communication events: "As we were asked to explain our work in four minutes I believe that it was good training for other competitions like “Three Minute Thesis competition."

Our University will also be hosting its own Festival of Postgraduate Research on 29 June, which is also open to the public and showcases the best areas of postgraduate research currently taking place across the University. Robeena will be presenting again at this event.

Robeena’s research aims to better understand how bacteria like Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can progress into diseases such a pneumonia, have the ability to survive in harsh conditions and even develop antibiotic resistance. She’s using DNA to help shed light on how this can happen, looking at how these bugs transfer DNA to others to spread the resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is a global issue that has been described as the biggest health problem of our time. It is a huge threat to the effectiveness of the treatments we currently have available for treating even simple bacterial infections, hence the importance of increasing our understanding of these processes to provide better treatments in the future.