A TEENAGE boffin has won a national award and gained recognition from the Royal Society of Chemistry after helping researchers at the University of Sunderland.
Seventeen-year-old Emma Sharman did a six-week placement in the summer holidays at the university’s laboratories to help develop new techniques to treat diabetics.
Her dedication and commitment impressed judges who named her Young Scientist of the Year at the Young Scientist and Engineers Fair at London’s ExCeL exhibition, landing her a £500 cash prize and a certificate.
Emma, from Peterlee, said: “My project was called Pin Cushion No Longer and focused on insulin and a new treatment for diabetics.
“It was a great experience being taught at the university campus in such fantastic facilities, working with the different chemicals to see how they interacted.
“I learned a lot of new techniques, using equipment I’d never used before.
“It certainly helped me decide that I want to work in pharmacy,” she said.
The project focused on developing a nasal gel to be used instead of injections to deliver insulin into diabetic patients.
Emma, who is studying maths, chemistry and biology in her second year at English Martyrs Sixth Form College in Hartlepool was one of four students the university hosted through the Nuffield Research Placements last summer to support research led by Dr Hamde Nazar.
Dr Nazar said: “Emma was brilliant during her time at the university and I’m absolutely delighted she has been given this award, it is a credit to her hard work.
“She is a very conscientious, organised and a very good student with an inquisitive mind.
“If she carries on with her good work, she has an incredibly bright future.”
Emma added: “I’m absolutely delighted to win this award. I was over the moon to be nominated, but to be recognised by great people in the world of science is mind-blowing, and I’m glad I sacrificed my summer holidays last year now.”