Biochemistry undergraduates win prizes in Biochemical Society competition

Two biochemistry undergraduates, Lauryn McLean-Deaville and Shakira Mahadeva, have been awarded prizes in the Higher Education category of the Biochemical Society’s annual Science Communication Competition! The competition required students to create a five-minute video, communicating a biochemical concept for a general audience. Each student will receive a cash prize and a mentoring session with a science communication professional. Congratulations to both Lauryn and Shakira!


lauryn mclean deaville crop

Lauryn McLean-Deaville, a 3rd year at St Anne’s College, was awarded First Prize. Her video, entitled What makes you tick: Your body clock, light sensing, and jet lag, discusses how circadian rhythms are established through light receptors in the eye and explains why it is often difficult to adjust the sleep-wake cycle when you travel to different time zones. 

Lauryn said “The application of circadian rhythms to daily life made it the perfect topic for a video entry, and I loved the challenge of turning it into a story to keep viewers engaged. I am so grateful to have been chosen as this year’s winner, and I hope this might encourage others to explore the science behind daily life in a creative way!”


shakira mahadeva

Shakira Mahadeva, who has just completed her MBiochem degree at The Queen’s College, was awarded Third Prize. Her video, entitled Switching Genes On, discusses how different patterns of transcription are produced in different cell types and how manipulating gene regulation might facilitate future stem cell therapies.

Shakira said, “For my final year lab project, I researched stem cell fate decision pathways in Dictyostelium in the lab of Prof. Catherine Pears. So, as I’ve become fairly well-practised at explaining the background to my project to friends and family this year, I thought I’d try in animated video form!” 


For more information about the competition, please visit the Biochemical Society’s website:


Peter J Judge
2nd September 2020