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Showcasing postgraduate research at Hughes

The MCR hosted its first iteration of Hughes Hall Research Day on 16th March spotlighting the research work of postgraduate students across various disciplines.

The purpose of Hughes Hall Research Day is to offer postgraduate research students a platform to practice, showcase, and present their research. Unlike traditional conferences, the presentations were not divided into parallel sessions of specific topics or fields.

This setup encourages interdisciplinary dialogue and allows the community to hear research that they may not typically encounter. The event also helps students learn to present their research to both specialised and non-specialised audiences, address questions, and potentially form collaborations.

Featuring eight speakers from diverse areas and faculties, the event reflected the breadth of research undertaken at Hughes Hall.

The presentations

  • The day began with Kate Ogletrope, a first-year PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences, who presented her research on tracking the Arctic Ocean’s response to reduced ice cover. Kate’s study focuses on temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen levels to assess changes in the ocean’s structure.
  • Stephen Malone’s paper addressed assessment quality, particularly inter-marker reliability, sparking engaging discussions on various aspects of assessment practices.
  • Yijie Yin, a PhD candidate in computational neuroscience, explored the concept of considering the biological brain as a neural network trained through evolution, with a focus on the fruit fly brain.
  • Katie Williams, an MPhil student in Pharmacology, discussed the development of novel visceral analgesics targeting gastrointestinal pain in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Presentations covered a wide range of topics, from cancer detection to the incarceration of black women.

  • The next flash talk was on open ocean phytoplankton and the process of biomineralization by Alice Ball, a first-year PhD student in Earth Sciences. She explored how biomineralization can aid in understanding viable climate models.
  • Baptiste Piguet, a PhD student at the Babraham Institute, examined the relationship between aging and DNA damage in life science research.
  • Niya Banks, an MPhil student in criminology, explored the criminalization of black womanhood from enslavement to mass incarceration in Brazil and the USA.
  • Lucy Faulkner, a first-year PhD student in the Department of Oncology, presented research on early cancer diagnosis through minimally invasive blood tests (“liquid biopsy”).

The event was chaired by Hughes Hall Senior Members: from left, Dr. Martin Hadley-Brown, Dr Sheheryar Banuri, Dr Iwan Roberts and Dr Islam Alshamleh. 

Congratulations to all presenters who took the time to share their research and answer the many questions that followed their presentations.

With thanks to Madiha Noman for summarising the event.