Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
Anaphase bridges in fission yeast cells
Whitby lab
Lactose permease represented using bending cylinders in Bendix software
Caroline Dahl, Sansom lab
Epithelial cells in C. elegans showing a seam cell that failed to undergo cytokinesis
Serena Ding, Woollard lab
Collage of Drosophila third instar larva optic lobe
Lu Yang, Davis lab
First year Biochemistry students at a practical class
Image showing the global movement of lipids in a model planar membrane
Matthieu Chavent, Sansom lab
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Something UNIQ about Biochemistry

Group Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

Group Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

This Summer, the department once again opened its doors to sixth-formers taking part in the University's UNIQ summer school programme. Five hundred students from schools around the country came to Oxford for a week for a taste of what it is like to be an Oxford undergraduate. Thirty of these were welcomed by the department to the Biochemistry UNIQ summer school.

Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

The summer school builds on the Sutton Trust summer school which the department ran last summer. This year it has seen students having lectures on a wide range of topics in Biochemistry, from stem cells to fluorescent proteins, reflecting the diversity of the subject. This was combined with an opportunity to experience biochemistry hands-on: purifying protein, extracting the students' own DNA to look for genetic markers, and exploring developmental biochemistry by using fluorescent markers to examine the development of the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.

Not all practical biochemistry is carried out in wet labs, and the students also discovered the importance of computer simulation work by performing an experiment docking a drug with a protein. On a trip to the department's Solid State NMR facility and the Diamond Light Source at the Harwell Campus near Didcot, they were able to see some of the huge equipment that members of the department use to obtain structural information about proteins.

"The tutorial was so different from what we'd experienced at school"

For many of the students the highlight of the week was experiencing an Oxford tutorial where one topic from the lecture series was explored in more depth. 'The tutorial was so different from what we'd experienced at school,' commented one student. 'It was great to talk about the topic and really have the way I thought about it probed.'

Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

Photo courtesy of Mostyn Brown, Dept of Biochemistry

Outside of the academic programme, the students enjoyed a range of activities from rock climbing to salsa dancing, and mixed with students attending UNIQ schools in other subjects in the colleges. This gave them a flavour of what college life is like and the range of sports and activities that Oxford undergraduates can enjoy.

On their final day, the students spent time discussing the UCAS process and Oxford's admissions process, and were able to find out more about the admissions interview.

For more details about the undergraduate admissions process, go to www.bioch.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate. For more information about UNIQ, or to apply for next year's school see www.ox.ac.uk/uniq

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