NDM student William Brandler wins national science writing award

William Brandler, a NDM-funded DPhil student based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, has won first prize in the Biochemical Society Science Communication Competition.

William-BrandlerThe competition was launched this year as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the Biochemical Society. The society were looking for 'talented science writers', and opened the competition to all undergraduates and postgraduates across the UK to write on a biomolecular topic of their choice, with a first prize of £500. William's article was on 'The Genetic Revolution', published in The Biochemist in august 2011. The article charted the astonishing advances geneticists have made in understanding the mutations that cause genetic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, in the past decade since the publication of the Human Genome Project. He then went on to explain how this knowledge will allow us to better prevent and treat these diseases in the future. Gemma Garrett, head of education at the biochemical society said about the competition: "Many of the entries were of a high standard and the judges had a difficult time choosing between the six shortlisted entries. However, William's stood out as the clear winner".

William is a 2nd year student at Merton College reading for a DPhil in Clinical Medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. His DPhil is on the genetics of cerebral asymmetry and handedness in Prof. Anthony Monaco's neurogenetics group. Previously he received a first class degree in zoology, and a distinction in an MPhil in human evolutionary studies, both from Cambridge University. Of winning this award, William said: "It is the first time I've entered a competition like this, so I was fairly shocked to get an email telling me I won first prize. Naturally, I then did a little celebratory dance in my room."