A man holds up his arm placing a petri dish into a machine in a laboratory. He is dressed in a white lab coat and protective glasses.
UL graduate John Walsh is pictured working in the Bernal Institute Laboratory taking part in the Faculty of Science and Engineering Summer Research Bursary Programme.
Wednesday, August 31, 2022


UL Student: John Walsh 

Course: Industrial Biochemistry  

Supervisor: Dr. Kieran McGourty 

Project Title: Identification and evaluation of extracellular matrix proteins in the porcine intestinal crypts using Immunofluorescent Labelling and High Throughput Confocal Microscopy. 


I decided to apply for the UL Science and Engineering Summer Research Bursary to get some experience in a research lab, as I have always been interested in a career in research. The 8-week internship was an excellent opportunity to gain this experience and I have really enjoyed my time in the Bernal Institute. My focus for the bursary was performing immunolabelling of human colorectal cancer tissue as a follow-up to my Final Year Project. The Bursary provided me with the opportunity to practice the lab techniques that I had been working on throughout 4th year as part of my FYP while also allowing me to learn some interesting new techniques, including Flow Cytometry and cell culture, both of which are widely used in the research labs and industry.  

I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. Kieran McGourty for giving me the opportunity to take part in the Summer Bursary and also a massive thanks to Seamus Heaney, Christina Enright, and Dr. Olwyn Mahon for their time (and patience) in answering all of the many questions that I had and for ensuring that I made the most of my time in the Bernal. While I really enjoyed my time as part of their research group, I have no doubt that the skills I have gained will prove beneficial in the future. I would highly recommend applying for the summer research bursary for anyone who is considering a career in research or just enjoys learning!