SCI Scholar, Emma Grant, presents her end of year report

06 September 2019

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985 over 70 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network, and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past nine years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed over £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

Emma Grant was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2018. At the end of their first year, SCI Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what Emma has done in her first year as an SCI Scholar.

‘I would like to thank the SCI for welcoming me into the College of Scholars and for their support over the past year. The scholarship has allowed me to participate in a number of opportunities that will be invaluable to my career going forwards.

‘My PhD research, as part of the GlaxoSmithKline/University of Strathclyde collaborative programme, has focussed on the design of a photoreactive probe that targets the CDK family, important targets in the treatment of cancer. I have been fortunate in the success of this project which has allowed me to submit a manuscript for publication. In parallel, I have been developing a photoreactive fragment screening strategy, known as the PhABits (PhotoAffinity Bits), to identify starting points in the development of therapeutics. I am now preparing a manuscript for publication which I hope will be accepted soon!

‘The SCI Scholarship supported my attendance at the 2018 Fragment Based Lead Discovery conference in San Diego. This was my first opportunity to present my work on the PhABit platform to an international audience. This conference gave me the chance to interact with academics and representatives from industry in whose groups I will consider applying for a post-doctoral position. The support provided by the SCI has enabled me to share my work, and engage with the scientific community that I want to pursue a career in.
‘In the past year I have had the opportunity to present my work at a number of conferences and I believe that the SCI Scholarship was pivotal in the success of my applications. Recently, I presented my work ‘PhABits – PhotoAffinity Bits to study protein-ligand binding’ at the 2nd Anglo-Nordic Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (poster presentation) and the ChemBiOx conference (oral presentation) where I was awarded the prize on both occasions. Additionally, I attended the 2018 SCI Young Chemist in Industry symposium and the 2019 SCI Protein-Protein Interactions conference. In particular, the research divulged by the delegates of the PPI conference inspired me and provided new protein targets where I can apply my research.

‘Over the second half of the SCI Scholarship I look forward to attending conferences and lectures supported by the SCI, as well as participation in the London Regional Group. Additionally, I will be carrying out a three-month placement at the proteomics company Cellzome, in Heidelberg, and I would like to thank the SCI for the support that will allow me to progress my research.’

Emma Grant
PhD student
University of Strathclyde

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