SPENDING her summer holidays helping boffins in a laboratory has paid off for a dedicated student.
Instead of relaxing by the beach with friends, Emma Sharman chose to help Sunderland University scientists develop new techniques to treat diabetes.
Now the 17-year-old A-level student has been shortlisted for the UK’s Young Scientist of the Year award.
Emma will find out on Friday if she has been successful, at this year’s UK’s Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at London’s ExCeL exhibition and convention centre.
Her project is up against those of 250 other youngsters.
It will be on display at the Big Bang Fair, which sees the country’s brightest hopes in natural science and engineering come together to showcase their work to 60,000 visitors and be judged by top scientists, including physicist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox and Countdown’s Rachel Riley.
Emma, from Peterlee, produced her project at Sunderland Uni over six weeks last summer after applying through the Nuffield Research Placements.
The bursary scheme gives students the chance to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians each year.
The teenager impressed judges with her project on insulin and a new treatment for diabetics, which scientists at the University of Sunderland are currently working on led by Dr Hamde Nazar.
Emma said: “Just to be nominated is a fantastic achievement in itself for me.
“My project focuses on insulin and a new treatment for diabetics.
“It was a great experience being taught in a practical setting on a university campus in such fantastic facilities, working with the different chemicals to see how they interacted.
“It certainly helped me decided that I want to work in pharmacy. I learned a lot of new techniques, using equipment I’d never used before.”
She added: “To win would be fantastic. But I am going to make the most of the opportunity and see what happens.”
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