Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prize winners

The Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prizes are awarded every year to the students who achieve the highest overall distinction grade on their Master's course. Meet a selection of those students.


MRes Biomedical Research (EECID) - Helen Coupland 

What did you most enjoy about your course? 

Helen CouplandThe opportunity to do two projects in two different research groups. It really gave me a good understanding of what it would be like to work in research or to undertake a PhD. 

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College? 

The staff were all really knowledgable about their fields and happy to help me improve my ability to conduct independent research. 

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize? 

I was really happy to receive the Dean's Prize, it felt like all my hard work this year had paid off

What are you doing now/ What do you plan on doing after graduation? 

I have now started a PhD at Imperial College London with one of my supervisors from my MRes.


Clinical Research: Diabetes and Obesity - Zijian Fang

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Zijian FangThe research project is the most enjoyable part of the whole course. I think the diverse research projects provided in the course are most attractive to students who want to have a PhD in the next few years.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?

I think the Faculty gives many opportunities for students to take part in lab work/clinical study, many of which aim to translate the basic research into clinical practice. It is a great chance for us to know what we are interested in if we would like to work in clinical research/translational work. More importantly, I think I am doing something that can benefit patients.

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

Very Excited. I also want to express my great gratitude towards my supervisor, Dr Ben Jones. Without his help in my research project, I cannot have a chance to learn more about being a researcher.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I am doing a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Any other comments

I want to express my great gratitude towards my supervisor, Dr Ben Jones, for his motivation and immense knowledge. I really appreciate every insightful discussion with him.


MRes in Biomedical Research (Data Science Stream) - Michal Krassowski

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Michal KrassowskiThe great selection of projects available to choose as well as the ability to drive our own project.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?

The commitment to enable students to achieve their highest potential by enabling flexible and long stays in the library, easy access to every possible journal, and a can-do attitude of the supervisors willing to help us find the right tools for the job (even if it wasn't always easy).

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

I was very grateful but also (slightly) surprised - there were many other hard-working students whose projects were showing deep insight into a variety of biomedical topics ranging from literature mining, through the biomedical image analysis, to the novel approaches to molecular data integration in cancer.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Studying for a DPhil at the University of Oxford, applying the knowledge of research methods I gained at Imperial to help understand debilitating women's conditions such as endometriosis and bladder pain syndrome, which hopefully will lead to the development of better disease models revealing clinically-relevant insights.


MRes in Biomedical Research - Ines Ullmo

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Ines UllmoThe Biomedical Research MRes was very complete. Being able to take part in two 6-month projects was an amazing opportunity to develop technical and analytical skills, but also to learn about the research world from the "inside". 
The weekly seminars and workshops were also very valuable, allowing us to learn about other disciplines and techniques not necessarily related to our research. It was also great to meet other students at those times, to learn about their own research and experiences.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?

Imperial College is an incredible university, where state-of-the-art research takes place. This resulted in all of the projects proposed by the MRes being very interesting and relevant. Moreover, we were also allowed to undertake graduate school masterclasses, which were an amazing opportunity to develop soft skills (leadership, presentation skills). 

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

Receiving the Dean's Prize was very rewarding, and gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Research is not always easy, but obtaining this type of recognition makes the whole process worth it. 

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I started a PhD in immunology and cancer research at Imperial College straight after finishing my MRes.


MRes in Biomedical Research (RCVS) - Iñigo Ruiz Polo de Lara

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Iñigo Ruiz Polo de LaraThe opportunity to actively design and participate in two different research projects, combined with the knowledge and expertise acquired from the core sessions, is for me an invaluable experience which I believe has thoroughly prepared me to pursue a career in biomedical research.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?

I am very grateful for the continuous exposure to top-tier science and the exceptional mentorship I received during the last year. I am particularly grateful for the guidance and counselling provided by Dr Chamorro-Jorganes who has profoundly encouraged my development as a scientist.

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

It is an honour and a great reward in recognition for the work of the last 12 months, which also encourages me taking the next steps in my career.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Studying for a DPhil at the University of Oxford, applying the knowledge of research methods I gained at Imperial to help understand debilitating women's conditions such as endometriosis and bladder pain syndrome, which hopefully will lead to the development of better disease models revealing clinically-relevant insights.


MSc Applied Genomics (formerly Functional Omics) - Parth Patel

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Parth PatelThe course enabled me to obtain a broad range of scientific techniques whilst being closely supervised by world-leading researchers on a regular basis. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to undertake my research project at the Francis Crick Institute where I had one of the most amazing experiences of my lifetime. 

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?

The high-quality teaching, organisation, and equipment available to the students were beyond imagination. Moreover, both academic and administrative staff have been very helpful and friendly. 

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

I am very grateful for the recognition of my efforts and hard work that I've put in throughout this course and it acts as a great motivation for my future endeavors. I am especially thankful to my project supervisors (Dr. Lorea Blazquez and Prof. Jernej Ule) and my personal tutor (Dr. Aida Martinez-Sanchez) for their support. 

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I am about to begin my job as a research assistant for a year after which I will look to pursue a Ph.D. 

Any other comments

After finishing my B.Sc. in Biochemistry, I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue. Before I started this course, I wasn't sure if I was suited, but undoubtedly this was one of the best choices of my life. I could not have asked for anything better. 


Reproductive and Developmental Biology - Georgie Pool

Georgie Pool

What did you most enjoy about your course? 

The course provided me with a broad understanding of reproductive biology and insight into the workings of a research facility. I was mostly interested in the molecular biology surrounding gametogenesis and the pathogenesis of reproductive and developmental disorders. The research project was the most beneficial aspect of the course for me, as I had limited research experience prior to the Masters. I was fortunate to work within a fantastic lab, who were highly supportive and equipped me with a range of molecular biology techniques.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College? 

The staff at Imperial College London are of the highest calibre in their field of study, which is reflected in the excellent standard of teaching and supervision. In addition, the connections that the Faculty of Medicine has with other teaching facilities was evident through the variety of external specialist lecturers keeping the teaching element engaging and diverse. The well-equipped lab my colleagues to conduct in-depth research using cutting-edge technology.

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

I was very pleased to receive the Dean's Prize and appreciate the College for the recognition.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Since finishing the course, I secured a role as a Reproductive Technologist at City Fertility in London, performing andrology within the IVF lab, where I plan to train to become an embryologist.


MRes Clinical Research (Translational Medicine) - Edouard Mills

What did you most enjoy about your course? 

The focus of this course was an individual one-year long research project, which permitted real ownership (whilst being adequately supervised). However, to be equipped with the necessary background theoretical knowledge, we undertook four one-week teaching modules covering medical statistics, research methodologies, clinical governance and special research circumstances. All in all, the balance between research and teaching time was excellent.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College? 

All members of the faculty and college were friendly and approachable, including the lecturers and teaching fellows. The lectures and tutorials were delivered in an informal and interactive environment and encouraged audience participation. Special thanks to Fiona Bibby, our course administrator, who was pivotal in the day-to-day running of the course. 

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

I was honoured to have received the Dean’s Prize. However, the prize was also a credit to the strong mentorship and instrumental guidance which I received from my supervisors: Dr Sophie Clarke, Dr Alexander Comninos and Professor Waljit Dhillo.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Having thoroughly enjoyed the programme and the thirst for clinical research which the course has given me, I am now undertaking a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology with Professor Dhillo. I am in no doubt that a doctorate from an institution with a world-class reputation for academic excellence will be invaluable for my career in clinical endocrinology.  

Any other comments

Thank you Imperial College!


MRes Clinical Research (Human Nutrition) - Eva Guerrero

What did you most enjoy about your course? 

Eva GuerreroAs the majority of the MRes Clinical Research course was research based, it allowed students the amazing opportunity to experience first hand what it is like to be in an intensive research environment. We were able to work beside and learn from experts in the field, share valuable time with researchers, professors and clinicians and get involved in departmental meetings. It was great to feel part of a bigger project and to put into practice what we were learning throughout the course. 

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College? 

There was a big emphasis on student-staff communication and Imperial College were very receptive with feedback about the course throughout the year. As the cohort was relatively small, this worked very well and a lot of the student suggestions were taken into consideration and implemented.

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

Receiving the Dean's Prize is a great honour, one that I could not have achieved without the invaluable guidance from my supervisor and lab team who always encouraged me and inspired me to work harder.

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I will be starting a PhD in Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia, which follows on nicely from my Masters work. I definitely would not have had the same chances of receiving this opportunity without my clinical research experience so I am very grateful for it.


MSc Human Molecular Genetics - Marlen Lauffer

What did you most enjoy about your course? 

Marlen LaufferThe broad set of skills we were taught, i.e. knowledge on fundamentals in genetics and genetic disorders, laboratory skills, bioinformatics and how to present and communicate one’s research are definitely one of the reasons that made this course so enjoyable.  Moreover, studying with peers that are as dedicated and passionate about genetics as myself was a wonderful experience. 

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College? 

The dedication of our lecturers, teaching fellows, teaching assistants and administrators to guide us through the course was exceptional. I very much appreciated that every one of them was willing and made time for us to answer questions and discuss our research projects, essays and other coursework.

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?

It was an incredible feeling to receive the Dean’s Prize and I had to reread the initial email several times before realizing what had happened. I felt and still feel honoured to be awarded this Prize and it feels great to know that the hard work throughout the year was appreciated in such away. 

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?

I am now pursuing a PhD at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), working in the Department of Psychiatry. There, I started a research project on the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders and effects of genetic treatment strategies thereof.