PhD student Natalie Garrett explains her research to MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw at the House of Commons.

Exeter student speaks at House of Commons

A postgraduate student from the University of Exeter has presented at the House of Commons.

Physics PhD student Natalie Garrett shared her research with a group of scientists and politicians, including MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw, at the SET for Britain event.

SET for BRITAIN is an annual event to encourage, support and promote British scientists, engineers and technologists at the early stage of their careers.

Natalie presented a poster to illustrate her biomedical physics research and also gave a verbal presentation, along with 180 other scientists and engineers. She faced stiff competition to get to the event, with four applications going for each place.

Natalie Garrett says: “I’m thrilled to have been chosen to present my research at this prestigious event. My poster presentation provided an opportunity for me to explain my research to some very influential MPs, as well as network with dozens of scientists. It was also a good opportunity to raise the profile of the cutting-edge Biomedical Imaging work being undertaken in Exeter’s Biomedical Physics research group.”

Natalie presented her work, which involves cutting-edge techniques using laser light interacting with nano-metallic particles to both image and selectively kill cells. Nano-shells have received a lot of attention in recent years, and have been hailed by some as a cancer miracle cure. Natalie’s research focuses on trying to understand exactly how they affect cells at the molecular level. She also uses metallic platforms inspired by butterfly wings in order to make measurements of minute quantities of chemicals that can interact with living cells. These provide a unique means of performing highly sensitive measurements of wet biological samples.

SET for BRITAIN is organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Biology and the Institute of Chemical Engineers. The exhibition and reception is sponsored by Dr Douglas Naysmith MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee.

Date: 18 March 2009

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