Student Profiles

Meet some of our students.


Henry Benns‌Henry Benns

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (Study Abroad)

Lancaster University attracted me with its outstanding academic reputation in biochemistry, which was complemented by the friendly and vibrant atmosphere on campus. I got a real sense of community from its collegiate system which I didn’t find at any of my other options. The opportunity to study abroad in Canada in my second year also excited me as a chance to pursue my interests in travelling. The tutors in the department were always happy to help students with any academic concerns, as well as provide support in adjusting to university life and preparing for the future.

The high quality and diverse teaching at Lancaster has kept me up-to-date with the latest research developments across the biosciences, whilst laboratory sessions have helped me gain a variety of practical skills. I especially enjoyed the dissertation project as I could apply my skills to tackle a real-world research problem; this was an incredibly rewarding experience. My plan for the future is to complete a PhD and pursue a research-based career in tropical disease. Lancaster has definitely prepared me with a strong foundation for further study and has left me with some fond memories.

Kate Devere-SmithKate Devere-Smith

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Study Abroad)

I graduated in 2011 with a BSc in Biological Sciences (Study Abroad). I believe that this degree, incorporating study from two highly-rated universities, gave me a brilliant foundation responsible for my success in healthcare science.

Graduating with a first class degree and being awarded both the departmental Mansfield Prize and the Princess Alexandra award has helped me to achieve what I aspired for in terms of career. Additionally, studying abroad for the year and all the opportunities that came with it has given me a level of individuality among others. What attracted me to the course was not only the opportunity of studying abroad but also being able to tailor the content of my degree due to the module set-up. The department’s status (Lancaster University's position in the league tables) and the amount of lab time were also considerations. I personally opted for studies within the human biology, medical and disease aspects of biology to give a more specialised and in-depth knowledge of these areas.

Whilst studying I was working within the NHS as a healthcare assistant and continued to do this for the year following graduation. During this year I pursued the aspiration of a career in healthcare science, leading to work experience within the area of clinical perfusion. I applied to several hospitals for the role of trainee clinical perfusionist and have subsequently completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Perfusion Science and am now a fully accredited clinical perfusionist. This entails operating a highly technical heart-lung machine which ensures that respiration and circulation are maintained whilst the patient’s heart and lungs are temporarily separated from circulation during open-heart surgery.  I am now in the position of completing research to be awarded with an MSc in Perfusion Science.

Michael Houghton‌Michael Houghton

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

I graduated from Lancaster in 2010 with a BSc in Biochemistry, after what was easily three of the best years of my life.

When I finished at Lancaster I knew that I wanted to go into a research career but wasn't quite yet ready for a PhD.  My first job was as a research laboratory technician in the life sciences department at the Open University in Milton Keynes, working on a project looking at the effects of ageing on gut innervation.  After what was meant to initially be a 3-month temporary role, I found myself being there for almost a year and have a publication to my name because of it.  When the funding there finished I got a job at the Anglian Water central laboratory in Huntingdon and worked there for two years as an analyst in the Metals Lab.  This involved analysing clean water, waste water and soil samples by use of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopy for regulatory and investigative purposes.

I am now working toward my PhD, investigating the potential for dietary polyphenols to alleviate the effects of chronic cell stresses involved in the onset of type II diabetes.  I am in the second year of my PhD and have already been fortunate enough to present at an international conference in Austria.  My intentions when I finish my PhD are to remain in research, preferably in academia and my life ambition is to head up my own research lab and lecture at Universities.

My time at Lancaster is irreplaceable in terms of the memories made and the academic grounding it has provided me so far.  My degree in Biochemistry, which included two or three practical classes a week throughout the whole programme and a substantial independent research project in the final year, provided me with the skills and experience to get the jobs at the Open University and Anglian Water and then also my PhD.  Three years after graduating I was still asked a lot about my BSc in the interview for my PhD and Lancaster, being a renowned institution for research certainly helped me and would give anyone a head start in a career path similar to my own.

I am still in close contact with many of my course mates, friends from Bowland College and team mates from the University Swimming and Water Polo Club and even return to Lancaster once a year for the old boys' water polo weekend!


Ciny EdathanalCiny Edathanal

MSci (Hons) Biomedicine

Lancaster University stood out to me because of its reputation for world class research, which I thought would contribute to the success of my degree. Not surprisingly, the dissertation I completed in my final year involved the latest advances made in Alzheimer’s disease. The lecturers were the best in their field and their passion inspired me to switch from a three year degree to the four year integrated masters degree.

Outside of studying, the vibrant campus based university with its numerous clubs and societies gave me the complete student experience. The university also encouraged me to think about what to do after graduation and provided a lot of support in preparing me for the “real world”. All in all, I really enjoyed my time at Lancaster. I wish I could go back to my first year and do it all again!