A-leveL placements at Zebrafish UCL

Every year we host several Biology A-Level students for work experience. The placement week is designed to give students an insight into the daily life in the lab by carrying out an independent research project under supervision.

This August we hosted a record 6 students, in groups of two they worked on three projects that cover the research interests of our lab: eye development, CNSasymmetry, and our neuroanatomy atlas. For their project students used traditional Molecular Biology methods (e.g. TUNEL staining to detect apoptotic cells, Wholemount In Situ Hybridisation to detect CNS asymmetry, PCR to genotype fish embryos) as wellas transgenic fish, fluorescent immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to analyse altered neuroantomy in mutant larval fish. We all had fun; the students were enthusiastic and a pleasure to interact with and supervise, and the students seemed to really enjoy themselves too and worked extremely well together. On the final day they impressed us with very well organised presentations of their results and their ability to place their work in the greater context of our research questions.

“This placement was a brilliant opportunity to get a taste of what life would be like being a scientist. I have gained enormously from this experience not just in term of knowledge but becoming a more independent learner. Although I found the projects to be quite challenging, it was also very rewarding. We were shown some very cool pieces of equipment including the laser camera and it has broadened my view in the field of scientific research. All in all, the experience was very enjoyable”

“My placement at The Wilson Lab was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed pushing my A Level knowledge to go into more depth on topics such as DNA replication and protein synthesis. It was also a hugely valuable experience because I was able to improve my lab technique as my partner and I carried out own protocol over the week and presented our results back to the team. It gave me an insight into scientific research and has inspired me to continue my studies. I would recommend the placement to anyone: you meet inspiring people, learn a lot and have a lot of fun!”


Wilson Lab Work Experience 2018

We are not currently accepting applications for the A-level work experience programme. Watch this space for details of how to apply in 2018.

For information about other Zebrafish UCL outreach programmes, click here.