UWIC Biomedical Science student wins recognition for Type 2 Diabetes research 

THE work of Lisa Atkin, a Biomedical Science student from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), has been included in a prestigious new journal Bioscience Horizons.

In the journal the ten best science-based undergraduate projects from the UK and the Republic of Ireland are published for the general public to read. Lisa, from Cardiff, spent the final year of her BSc degree doing research into Type 2 Diabetes, and is the author of a Bioscience Horizons article summarizing her work, entitled Rosiglitazone-induced SERCA2b inhibition: implications for monocyte cytoskeletal remodelling and diabetic microangiopathy.

Type 2 Diabetes is a widespread and growing problem in the Western world, with an estimated three million people in the UK projected to suffer from the disease by 2010. The disease originates from an inability of the cells of the body to respond to the hormone Insulin, causing many harmful consequences to the patient. Lisa’s research involved the effects of the disease on white blood cells, which become more rigid, and so may become trapped in the small blood vessels of patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Using isolated white blood cells, Lisa identified the mechanism by which a drug that is commonly used to treat Type 2 Diabetes caused these cells to become less rigid. The increased flexibility that results in the white blood cells of patients taking this drug should reduce the risk of so-called ‘vascular diabetic complications’ – for example, problems arising in the eyes, kidneys and feet due to white blood cells becoming trapped in small blood vessels.

Commenting on her work Lisa said: “I was very pleased to be asked to write a paper for inclusion in Bioscience Horizons. I enjoyed doing the labwork for my project, and now writing this paper has given me an extra insight into the process of reporting new scientific findings to a wider audience. I’m very grateful to UWIC for supporting my research.”        

Dr Richard Webb, Lecturer at UWIC’s Centre for Biomedical Sciences and Lisa’s project supervisor, said: “The beauty of the new Bioscience Horizons journal is that it acknowledges and reports the work of students who are embarking on a career in scientific research and highlights the importance of the link between teaching and research in higher education. Having performed well in the taught elements of her course, Lisa can now add the experience of carrying out and publishing Biomedical research to her CV.”

For further information contact Kelly Harper, Communications Assistant:

Tel: 029 2041 6041
Email: kharper@uwic.ac.uk
Web: http://www.uwic.ac.uk/

Notes for Editors:

• Lisa Atkin has now embarked upon a PhD, in which she is continuing her research into Type 2 Diabetes. Some of her initial PhD data has been included in a recent scientific journal as part of the following article: 

    o Caddy, J., Singh, N., Atkin, L., Ahluwalia, M., Roberts, A.W., Lang, D., Thomas, A.W. and Webb, R. (2008): Rosiglitazone Transiently Disturbs Calcium Homeostasis in Monocytic Cells Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 366, p.149-155.

• Dr Richard Webb lectures on UWIC’s MSc, BSc (Hons) and HND/C Biomedical Science, Applied Bioscience and Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition programmes, and is continuing his research into Type 2 Diabetes.

• Lisa’s Bioscience Horizons journal article can be accessed via the following link: http://biohorizons.oxfordjournals.org/current.dtl