Receiving a President’s Scholarship has meant that Heather Jeffery can continue her passion for violin while studying Biochemistry with a third year research placement.

HeatherReflecting on my first three years, I think I have enjoyed my placement year the most as it has put all of the previous lectures into perspective and I have started to understand how all the different aspects can link together and be beneficial to each other. This coherence really helps and cannot be portrayed in the same way through talks. It has also been confidence-boosting to be given independent projects and experiments, as well as a great chance to develop my knowledge in a scientific research environment.

On my placement year I screened patients for mutations in a gene associated with primary lymphoedema. Crucially, by identifying the cause in these patients we can further refine the classification system used for diagnosis, as well as gain a better understanding of the inheritance patterns and subsequent likelihoods of having affected children. Thanks to the President’s Scholarship I have been able to make the most of my invaluable placement year and continue my violin lessons, for which I am taking my DipABRSM this summer.

It is definitely an interesting area of research and I would like to pursue it further however, since I am right at the beginning of my scientific career, I feel there is so much more research with links to genetics that I could explore in the future. My current plans involve studying for a PhD. There is so much we still don’t know and I would really like to be a part of this exciting discovery process.

I have really enjoyed my time with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra (ICSO), of which I was Librarian last year and Treasurer this academic year. It has proved to be a fantastic way to meet people from the other courses and years of study. In particular, being on the committee has given me increased confidence and the chance to take responsibility for the running and organisation of this society. It also facilitated close bonding which has led to what I hope to be lifetime friendships. Another society I have been part of is Soup Run, which feeds the homeless once a week. Similarly, this has been a great way to meet like-minded people but has also provided an opportunity to give something back to the community in a direct way which I have really enjoyed.

When researching potential universities to attend, finance does play a large role, especially when considering living in London. Imperial’s fantastic financial help enables students to partake in wonderful opportunities. 

In 2015 we awarded 110 President’s Scholarships to talented young people like Heather. Your generosity can help us to match that record in 2016. Please give now to support scholarships and ground-breaking research at Imperial.