Our class of 2021 really are something to shout about. They’ve overcome challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done it all during a pandemic when student life has been changed beyond recognition. We couldn’t be prouder of them so we’re telling their stories.
Tue 13 Jul 21
Biology is a passion for Rosie Faint - her ambition is to contribute to finding a cure for cancer - so it’s no surprise that when she was faced with completing a final year project in a new field and without access to labs, she rose to the challenge.
Rosie, who will graduate with a BSc Biological Sciences, chose Essex because of the STEM lab facilities.
“I’ve always had a passion for studying biology and aspire to work in the field of cancer research, because it is a disease which has affected my family personally,” she said.
Completing her final-year project however was a challenge. With the pandemic closing labs, she was forced to use a computational rather than lab-based practical approach to her project. And she also had to tackle microscopy and image analysis, two fields she had little experience of.
A combination of commitment and support helped her complete a project, with her lecturer praising the way she “took to a new subject and embraced it fully".
“I had previously studied microscopy and image analysis. However, computational analysis was definitely a new challenge. I overcame my lack of computational experience by reaching out to fellow group members and reading many peer reviewed papers on the topic,” said Rosie.
"I've always had a passion for studying biology and aspire to work in the field of cancer research, because it is a disease which has affected my family personally."
“The progression in earlier cancer diagnosis and promising new treatments, which my project report delved into, highlight the significance of these research fields within cancer and will be key to future generations surviving the disease,” she added.
Without access to labs she couldn’t develop some of the practical skills she wanted but did become familiar with new computational softwares which she says will benefit her in the future.
Despite a bout of Covid-19, Rosie successfully completed the project and said this of the experience: “I learnt that resilience is one of the best traits you can display.”
She’s staying at Essex to start an MSc Cancer Biology in October which she hopes will help her realise her ambition: “After my Masters I will have hopefully discovered the cancer types I am most interested in researching."