Model of a body's internal organs

Why study at Brighton? The Huxley building!

Biological Sciences student Sandra Skubis tells us about one of her favourite spots at uni.

One of my favourite places at Brighton University is Huxley Building located at the Moulsecoomb campus.

Specialist facilities at Brighton

Huxley itself has seven floors, mainly filled with specialised labs but also lecture halls and offices. My favourite floors are the 4th and 5th as this is where I spend most of my time participating in practicals. Whenever I enter the premises of this building, I’m amazed by the amount and variety of equipment available. The most impressive apparatus I’ve seen so far includes an NMR machine, spectrophotometers, 3D printers, DNA sequencing system and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer.

Continue reading “Why study at Brighton? The Huxley building!”

Profile pic of Nadia Terrazzini

Meet Dr Nadia Terrazzini

Nadia trained at the National Institute for the Study and the Cure of Cancer in Milan (Italy) and has since worked on a variety of immunology research projects spanning from cancer gene therapy to DNA vaccines, to immunosenescence. She is a member of the Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease (STRAND), the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices  and the Brighton and Sussex Cancer Research Network.

Dr Nadia Terrazzini is the course leader for Biological Sciences BSc(Hons), Biological Sciences MSci and Biological Sciences BSc(Hons) (with integrated foundation year).

The way I like to teach

My professional field of expertise is Immunology and I teach it at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am very passionate about promoting the understanding of Immunology to students, who often find this subject very complex. Enhancing its accessibility is a priority in my work. To foster engagement, I try to introduce an element of fun in my teaching and I strive to keep my lectures student-centred and highly interactive, including everyday analogies (e.g. comparing the working of the immune system to a football match), story-telling and animated PowerPoint diagrams or animations.

I also use online game-based learning platforms such as Kahoot and Nearpod to make complex immunology mechanisms and concepts more approachable and easier to visualise. Students engage with the teaching using their laptop/tablets, so that I can introduce questions, polls and videos, pace the lecture and create breaks that give students time to reflect on the learning and work with peers in small groups. I also include examples of experimental data in my presentations and I design assessments to test the students’ ability to understand and interpret scientific data presented in literature. This supports students’ professional development as scientists and ultimately their employability.

How I involve my students in my research

I lead research investigating host immune responses to infections.  I like to involve undergraduate students in my research projects. For example, thanks to school funding, recently one of my undergraduate students was able to work with me on a summer placement. This offered the student not only the opportunity to develop lab technical abilities (useful for future employment or studies) but also allowed their inclusion in a manuscript (Watkins E. et al. Inflammatory and psychological consequences of chronic high exposure firefighting, under review).

I am a keen ambassador for vaccinations; I have been running national and local surveys with project students to understand believes, hesitancy and barriers to vaccinations. Involving my project students, I am organising a public engagement event in a local community centre.

I have also taken undergraduate students with me to national and international conferences to present their work. For example, I took one of my undergraduate medical students to a conference organised by the British Society for Immunology to present the poster ‘’IL7 Candida albicans sustains the cross-talk between skin and resident T cells’’ (Brighton, Dec 2017).

Find out more about Dr Terrazzini’s research.

We offer a lot of support at Brighton

In Brighton, we aim to make students feel part of a community that supports them while at university and for life, for all aspect of their academic and personal life. We have teams to support and advise on anything from what do when experiencing personal difficulties to careers.  New students are assigned an academic tutor to support their core academic skills. In our school, there is a strong emphasis on the application of science and we train students to put theory into practice using specialist labs and equipment as well as fieldtrips.

We support our teaching with top of the range specialist facilities and we offer training in ecology, microbiology, molecular biology and tissue culture laboratories. Staff are recognised specialists in their subject area; they run practical sessions and design final year projects to involve students in research. This supports enhancing the employability of students and allows for the co-creation of new scientific knowledge.

What I love about teaching

The best thing about teaching undergraduate students is how much I learn myself. While making my lectures up-to-date and engaging, I keep learning new material and new ways to present it. Therefore, teaching my specialist subject area gives me a deeper understanding of topics. I also love when students who initially found Immunology difficult, tell me it is their favourite subject!

My favourite place in Sussex

We are very lucky to live by the sea surrounded by magnificent countryside. I love walking with my dog Honey on the South Downs as much as taking a stroll on the beach. The open spaces, the great views, the sound of the waves relax me and help clear my mind.

The three people (alive or dead) that I’d invite to a dinner party would be…

I would definitely choose to have my mum. I lost her to cancer just a month before graduating and I miss her every day. If this was too much to ask, it would be fun to have a dinner party with a group of three comedians called ‘Il trio’, who were very famous in Italy in the 90s. My brother Sergio and I enjoyed them so much we still repeat some of their sketches, which we know by heart! They are a source of so many inside jokes, my brother would have to be there too. And my mum was the best cook ever. So here you have it: Il trio, my brother, my mum.

Find out more about Dr Terrazzini and the research of our Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease (STRAND), and our Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices and the Brighton and Sussex Cancer Research Network.

Kieran Tang

My tips for success

Kieran Tang graduated from Geography BA(Hons) in 2018 – here’s what he has to say about his time here:

Studying Geography BA(Hons) at the University of Brighton opened my eyes to a plethora of course content, numerous routes for future career opportunities, the wonderful area of Brighton, and the occasional field trip.

The best aspect of the course is the wealth of different modules you can study, and how you can start to specialise in certain areas. During the course of my degree, I began to shape my learning on planning, the environment, and sustainable development.

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Dr Matthew Brolly

Dr Matthew Brolly is the course leader for Environmental Sciences BSc(Hons) and Geography with Remote Sensing and GIS BSc(Hons).

Head shot of Matt BrollyTell us about the subject area(s) you teach at undergraduate level?

I lead the teaching of remote sensing across our undergraduate degrees in Geography, Archaeology, Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Management. This subject area is therefore also the main component of the Geography with Remote Sensing and GIS degree. Remote sensing relates to any measurements that are made when not in contact with the object/target, so essentially we are all using remote sensing all the time using primarily our eyes and ears. Using this definition, the subject uses imagery collected by a range of sensors including cameras, lasers, and satellite radars. Continue reading “Dr Matthew Brolly”

Dr Louise MacKenzie

Dr Louise MacKenzie is course leader for Biomedical Science  BSc(Hons), Biomedical Science MSci and Biomedical Science BSc(Hons) (with integrated foundation year).

Louise Mackenzie head shotTell us about the subject areas you teach at undergraduate level?
I teach on the Biomedical Science course, which covers human biology, pathophysiology and diagnostics used to help guide NHS hospitals to treat patients. The areas that I teach on are mostly the biochemistry and pharmacology aspects that help towards your understanding of Biochemistry and Blood Sciences.

What are some examples of activities that students in your subject area participate in during their studies?
A great deal of time is spent learning laboratory skills. The practical’s cover a great deal of topics, and its an opportunity to put theory into practice, and get to experience what it is like to work in a laboratory environment.
We have great contacts at the local hospital, and you will have guest speakers come and talk about Biomedicine from a range of backgrounds. Continue reading “Dr Louise MacKenzie”