Elaina Gill, aged 16, is studying for her T Levels and attended last year’s King’s Health Partners Summer School run by our BRC. 

Elaina enjoyed the Summer School so much that she immediately asked for some more hands on work experience, which our colleagues at the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences kindly agreed to provide. She has also become a member of our Young People’s Advisory Group.

We had a chat with Elaina to find out how the first of four placements went.

Where was your first placement?
In November I joined Professor Prashant Jha, Head of Affordable Medical Technologies at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences for a week. Professor Jha and his team gave me some experience with laparoscopic surgery, medical devices and methods of communication in the industry.

I was asked what I wanted to achieve and then given a list of tasks for the week. My first task was to research companies who provide medical devices. My second was to research laparoscopy (keyhole surgery of the abdomen) including its history and development. The third task was to create an email template that could be sent to companies that specialise in medical devices. On the following day, I had to research the percentages of laparoscopies carried out in each hospital in the UK. My third day involved researching the number of laparoscopies carried out globally. On my fourth day my research topic was the role of robotics in laparoscopies.

What did you most enjoy?
The most interesting thing I learnt during my visit was how to create an email template that could be sent to companies that specialise in medical devices. After creating a draft, I presented it to the group who gave me advice on how to improve it.

What are you going to do next?
Following the placement with Professor Jha, I am hoping to be able to see a laparoscopy in action and am waiting to hear from the team to arrange this.

I also have three more placements coming up which I’m very excited about. The first involves single cell sequencing to identify unique characteristics of endothelial cells from various sites around the body. For the second one, we are going to look at the stem cell culture techniques and work on modelling aspects of the fight or flight response.

I’m then back at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences to learn about Research in Molecular Imaging.

From my very first day of this placement, the team welcomed me with open arms and I look forward to the rest of the programme. It would not have been possible without the links I made through the Summer School, and I am very grateful.

You can read more about Elaina’s time with the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences on the School’s blog.

For more information on the Summer School or opportunities for school children, please contact claire.oneill@gstt.nhs.uk.

 

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