Posted on 11/10/2013
Stella receives her award, credit: Graham D Holland
Recent Royal Holloway graduate, Stella Victorelli was this month named the Best Pharmacology Student of the Year, as part of the annual SET (Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year) Awards.
Supported by Industry, and leading scientific and technical bodies, the SET awards publicly recognise the exceptional achievements of both students and universities. They are presented at a spectacular ceremony, which bring together hundreds of students and academics, as well as senior figures from industry, government, science and the media.
We caught up with Stella after the celebrations:
Congratulations on your win! How was the evening?
The award ceremony took place in the beautiful Kensington Town Hall, where we were also treated to a lovely gala dinner. It was so nice to meet other students that share the same interests, and it was also a good opportunity to network with important scientists in other fields of research.
I was so surprised when my name was announced as the winner of my category! Being shortlisted as one of the finalists was already a great achievement, and winning the prize against stiff competition, was very exciting.
I feel very proud and it has given me more confidence to continue working in research.
What inspired you to study Biomedical Sciences?
I have always had a passion for science. Since school, biology and chemistry have been my favourite subjects and also the ones I happen to be better at!
I love the intricacy of the mechanisms that underlie the functioning of the human body, and how they work so perfectly to generate and maintain such complex organisms.
I thought that by studying Biomedical Sciences, I would be able to learn how our body functions at physiological, cellular, and molecular levels, and so gain insight into all the areas that interest me the most.
For anyone thinking about studying science, I would say that although it can be challenging at times, keep working hard because it all pays off in the end!
How did you find your time at Royal Holloway?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Royal Holloway, and am so happy I chose to do my undergraduate degree there.
I made really good friends, and had the pleasure to be taught by people who are leading scientists in their field of research, such as my supervisor Dr Philip Chen who nominated me for the award, which heightened my interest in science even more.
I loved having my own research project in the final year, as it gave me a realistic representation of what it is like to work in scientific research.
What does the future hold?
I am currently doing a PhD in ageing at Newcastle University. I became interested in this area after doing my dissertation on a condition called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, where children age prematurely.
In the future, I hope to be able to make a contribution to progeria research, and help people with this condition.