Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Louise Mackenzie
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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).

Tell 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.

What opportunities are there for students to be involved in your research, or research projects of colleagues?
If there are opportunities for students to be involved in your research, (or research projects of your colleagues) can you give some examples of what they might be and specific examples of what students have done recently.
I run projects for third years, which involves trying new drugs on pancreatic cells that release insulin. Sometimes we find drugs that increase insulin secretion, and so we can learn a great deal more about how these work. Other projects that I run involve hospital data from patients who have had COVID-19, and we can look to see what blood biomarkers have changed and how we can use this data to help future therapies and triaging in hospitals.

Find out more about Dr MacKenzie’s research.

What support is available to undergraduate students at Brighton?
There is considerable support for students when they get to Brighton. For those who wish to look for a placement year, or make sure that they have a CV that gets them an interview for a job, then we have the careers and placement services, as well as a new MS Teams channel where we keep loads of resources to help write cvs, as well as listen to talks on different career paths. We have a close relationship with the SSGT and the Disability and Dyslexia teams, so students can get the help needed for all mental wellbeing and physical aspects of learning. The library provide excellent resources, and the Student Office are there supporting the academics and making sure that the administration is running smoothly

What do you enjoy most about teaching at undergraduate level?
I love working with the students, since I want to share my love for my research and for science generally. Seeing the penny drop and individuals suddenly understanding some new concept is always wonderful to see. Having a good discussion with students in the lecture hall or labs is always something I look forward to.

What’s your favourite location in Sussex and why?
Standing in the sea at Seaford, where you can see the Seven Sisters and enjoy swimming in the cold water.

Which three people (alive or dead) would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Prof Brian Cox – great for discussions on the universe
Prof Gerty Cori – first woman to gain a Nobel prize, and she was one of the first to uncover molecular mechanisms in glucose regulation and use of glycogen.
Easter bunny – so we can ask plenty of questions about why a rabbit hands out chocolate every year, while we eat the chocolate they have brought along to the dinner party.

Find out more about Dr MacKenzie and the research of our Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease.

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