Getting In2Science by Victoria T

By Rebecca Mckelvey 2017

Victoria and her placement with Prof. Dickenson at UCL
This year, we ran a blog competition, supported and judged by New Scientist. The winner was Victoria (Harris Sixth Form, South Norwood, Croydon), who worked with Professor Anthony Dickenson from the UCL department Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology. He works on pain investigating how sensory messages get from the body to the brain, how drugs alter these processes to relieve pain and how pain is a sensory and emotional event. The techniques Victoria explored during her placement included neuronal activity measures, pharmacological studies, and anatomical approaches.

Supported and judged by New Scientist

Sensation and pain are the body’s ways of communicating and in most cases telling us when something is wrong. So, if a venomous insect was to bite you and you didn’t feel anything, chances are, they would have more time to inject a larger amount of their toxins and therefore you would be harmed much more than if you were able to move away or sweep it away as a result of feeling pain. (feeling no pain doesn’t sound like such a good thing now does it?)

I never really gave pain as a subject too much thought and always believed it was just something we would all have to deal with at some point in our lives. However, having had the amazing opportunity to not only shadow highly experienced researchers and watch them carry out techniques such as immuno-histology and electrophysiology (which I would probably never have learnt about at school alone), visiting King’s College and meeting so many inspirational researchers carrying out fascinating