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Top science award for Lancaster student Rebecca

Lancaster University Medical School PhD student Rebecca Shepherd was recognised with a top award at the Houses of Parliament.

Rebecca, whose studies are funded by the Anatomical Society, received the Gold Medal in the Biosciences category at the STEM for Britain competition.

The awards aim to raise the profile of Britain’s early-stage researchers at Westminster, by engaging members of both Houses of Parliament with current science, engineering and mathematics research.

Rebecca’s gold-winning project looks at the anatomical role of fat cells (adipocytes) in the bone marrow matrix and how these may contribute to the formation and anatomical structure of bones.

She said of the award: “It’s amazing for my research to have been recognised with the Gold Medal.

“STEM for Britain is an excellent event. I had the opportunity to discuss my work with MPs, policy-makers and leaders of scientific bodies. It was a fun challenge explaining my work to those outside of biological sciences, and I enjoyed meeting other early-career researchers from different fields.”

The audience included Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, and other members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as policy-makers and representatives from Learned and Professional Societies.

The event gives researchers a broad audience with whom to discuss their research, as well as enabling them to understand how science, technology, engineering and maths are discussed and dealt with in Parliament.

Dr Adam Taylor, Rebecca’s primary supervisor at Lancaster University, said: “This is a great accolade for Rebecca, for Lancaster Medical School and for the Anatomical Sciences.

“Rebecca is a bright and hard-working scientist who has made excellent progress in her project to increase what we know about fat cells and their anatomical role in bone.

“She has also taken a keen interest in communicating science more widely. This award shows her excellence in scientific work and her ability to communicate it to a wider audience.


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