As an undergraduate in her third year of study, Jodie’s placement enhanced her existing knowledge of veterinary microbiology and immunology and underpinned modules on equine health and scientific research.
“The most valuable part of work experience is finding out what career will suit you and what industry skills you need to pursue your goal.”
During her two-week placement, Jodie joined the Equine Influenza Team to learn more about their specific roles and to assist members with their ground-breaking research.
Jodie relished the many opportunities on offer to hone her skills in the laboratory. She assisted the team in the preparation of cell dilutions for plaque assays to determine the infectious units in virus samples; split cells to ensure that optimum growth conditions are maintained, and developed other skills needed in the process of producing new virus strains with mutated genotypes.
These on-going processes are a precaution against the occurrence of possible virus mutations which may result in present influenza vaccines becoming ineffective. This research aims to predict the impact of mutations on the virulence of a virus strain.
Jodie commented: “As my time with the Equine Influenza Team progressed I was able to carry out tasks without too much instruction. By the end of my placement I was following the processes from start to finish to successfully rescue and sequence virus strains.
Everyone at the Animal Health Trust had so much enthusiasm for their research and because the team was incredibly helpful and supportive I was able to learn many useful skills. A career working in a lab-setting is now something I’d like to pursue.”