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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A: Biological Natural Sciences

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    Dr Aleksandra Watson 

    I am the Director of Studies for Part IA Biological Natural Sciences and Part II-III Biochemistry and am the Maplethorpe Fellow in Biological Sciences. I am a supervisor for first, third and fourth year Natural Sciences students, and for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine undergraduates. I am also a Tutor for Graduate Students.

    I’m interested in the regulation of DNA packaging into a compartment 40,000 times smaller. This packaging renders DNA inaccessible to essential processes involved in cell development and cancer progression, and must be tightly controlled.

    What's special about Biological Natural Sciences at Cambridge?

    Uniquely, the Natural Sciences course at Cambridge affords students the opportunity to tailor their own course to fit their interests. Those who know precisely which path they want to follow can do so whilst learning about additional disciplines, whilst others can opt to study a broad range of subjects before ultimately specialising. Additionally, students are taught by those at the very forefront of their rapidly changing fields. 

    How does Murray Edwards College support its Biological Natural Sciences students? 

    Our academic staff are extremely keen to support our students and the student community is itself very welcoming and supportive. Our students are currently taught exclusively by biological Natural Sciences Fellows and Bye-Fellows from within the College. The College’s Natural Scientists run the Franklin Society with weekly talks from guest speakers from within the College and University. Additionally, there are several College funds available to support Biological Natural Sciences students, in particular, the Posen Fund which enables them to gain research experience before their final year. 

    What do you enjoy most about working at Murray Edwards College? 

    There are so many things to choose from! Whilst the friendly welcome from the Porters’ Lodge and our gorgeous gardens are high up on my list, I am continually inspired by our hard-working and enthusiastic students. The broad and rapidly evolving field of sciences that they study means that each of them brings something unique to our supervisions.