Let’s introduce you to an important member of the Technostics team… university student Katie Boulton.
Katie joined Technostics – the innovative contract product development company – for a ‘year in industry’ placement in the role of research assistant in July 2019.
Although her placement officially finished in July 2020, we invited Katie to stay to work through the summer months until her return to university at the end of September.
Katie is currently studying for a BSc (Honours) Biochemistry degree full time at Sheffield Hallam University – where she is also a student ambassador, department representative and mentor.
Not only does Katie make the long commute to the Technostics labs at Castle Hill Hospital near Hull from Rotherham every day, but she is also a single parent to three children (aged, 14,14 and 17). Super organisational skills are key!
So, we’re thrilled that Katie will be returning to the labs again in February to complete her final year university project.
“Before my placement at Technostics, I worked at a secondary school as the design & technology technician and have also been a community first responder for South Yorkshire ambulance service,” says Katie. “One of my university tutors recommended Technostics to me for placement so I sent in my CV and we went from there.”
“The first six months of placement were spent in the lab working on projects and processing patient saliva samples for the Peptest team before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the focus of work to developing research studies with Professor Peter Dettmar.”
“During lockdown I have worked on research papers with Prof. Dettmar and accomplished seven papers and three abstracts to date, some of which I am first author. Experiencing the submission process for manuscripts has been such a good opportunity for me as an undergraduate and carrying out a placement here has definitely strengthened my desire to do a PhD in the future.
“I have published in an area that I have been researching during my year using pepsin as a biomarker for self-diagnosing reflux disease. I have also co-authored a chapter ‘Role of salivary pepsin in GERD and its related extra-esophageal manifestations’ in a major new book Acid Peptic Disease: An Update, which will be published later in 2020.
“My analytical and academic skills have greatly improved and the support and guidance from Professor Dettmar has been invaluable.”
Some of the work Katie has carried out at Technostics includes:
- Assisting with project work
- Statistically analysing results
- Preparing data and reports for publication
- Testing private patient saliva samples using Peptest
- Texture analysis procedure
Professor Peter Dettmar says: “Katie quickly became a key and dependable member of the Technostics team supporting research programmes working with both alginates and pepsin. This has been a good year for Katie, and she has developed into a skilled research scientist and gained valuable experience learning all about the publication process. Katie will be greatly missed when she returns to university for the final year of her degree.”