Hinton Lab Interns with Professor Jay Hinton (left) and Dr Adam Roberts (right) after their project presentation
Annually, the Hinton Lab at the Institute of Integrative Biology invites A-level students to spend time learning new skills whilst working on a chosen project within our research lab. This year, the Hinton Lab Intern Week continued its collaboration with Dr Adam Roberts from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and focused on the “Swab and Send” project, which aims to combat the very real threat that antimicrobial resistance poses to our health. The students looked for new antibiotic-producing bacteria by swabbing toys belonging to children of different age groups.
Over the course of the week of 23 July 2018, the four interns, supervised by PhD students Wai Yee Fong and Xiaojun Zhu, learned techniques that included making media for agar plates, inoculating bacteria, gram staining and microscopy. They also visited various parts of the Institute and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. By the end of the week, the students had made some promising discoveries, and identified several new potential antibiotic-producing bacteria.
Hinton Lab Interns 2018. From left: Sam Cochrane; Catherine Lowe; Niamh Emond; Michael Campbell
Sharing their thoughts and reflections on the Intern Week, the students said the following:
- Michael Campbell: “I enjoyed the agar art session the most as it was fun and interesting to draw pictures using different types of bacteria. I also found the tours of the IIB genomics facilities and Centre for Cell Imaging very interesting.”
- Catherine Lowe: “It was interesting to see the different parts of the Institute and how they worked together, and how the lab works. I really enjoyed working in a research lab and doing something more than the theory which is all that we covered at school.”
- Niamh Emond: “What I liked about the Intern Week was getting the opportunity to do practical lab work that can potentially make a difference.”
Professor Hinton said: “It’s been a pleasure to welcome the next generation of scientists to work in our lab. It was inspiring to see the levels of interest of these students as they take on quite a challenging set of experiments. By teaming up with the ‘Swab and Send’ project, the students could discover bacteria that produce novel antibiotics. We are very grateful for the help of Adam Roberts, and for the financial support from the Wellcome Trust, which allows my lab to run this Intern Week”.