Immunology & Pharmacology (BSc)Kirsty Tinto

About me

I’m a 21 year old student from Scotland with a keen interest in the drug discovery process. I commute to university from a small town outside of Glasgow where I’ve been brought up, so I enjoy studying within the city to experience all aspects of city life. I’m also a true fitness fanatic who enjoys running and going to the gym regularly, as well as munro bagging with my Dad and cousin.

After finishing my third year degree examinations, I completed a laboratory internship at Daresbury Proteins and this summer I’m carrying out a Marketing and Business Development Internship for the third year in a row at BioAscent, a drug discovery CRO. Alongside this, I’m working within the NHS for the rest of 2021 as a vaccinator to assist on the frontline during the pandemic. These career opportunities have allowed me to flourish as a young scientist and have given me an insight into possible career paths in the future.

Choosing Strathclyde

Strathclyde is known for its high quality facilities and teaching. When I applied to study here, the university was very high in the university rankings in the UK for Pharmacology and Pharmacy (and still is). However, I was not set on accepting my offer until I attended the offer holders’ event once I’d obtained my unconditional offer. I met a lecturer who was approachable, friendly and most importantly really down to earth. This lecturer told me all about her field of study and her passionate and positive attitude is the reason I went home that night and accepted my offer to Strathclyde. After the offer holders’ event, I truly realised that I was meant to study at Strathclyde.

Strathclyde is a university which has state of the art facilities, as well as the most supportive academic staff. What stands out to me is that the lecturers genuinely enjoy the subjects they teach and this shows through their enthusiasm and the time and support which they give to students. The laboratories are spacious, modern and the laboratory equipment available is at such a high quality that it is similar to equipment used in industry. Additionally, the library facilities are phenomenal as there are spaces for all variations of studying.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) building

Immunology & Pharmacology

The road to deciding which career I would like to pursue was more of a learning curve than a straight path. Initially, my mind was set on applying for an undergraduate BSc Physiotherapy degree. As this course is extremely competitive, I completed extensive work experience before applying.

My work experience included volunteering within the NHS with patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, where I was able to assist nurses, gain a greater understanding of the disease, and understand how their movement and memory declined progressively over time. This experience made me realise that I was genuinely interested in Alzheimer’s disease, and more importantly, that I wanted to help these patients in an extensive way. I spent hours upon hours researching the disease and quickly realised there is a lack of treatment options, and no known cure. This is what sparked my initial interest in drug discovery. 

I applied for the BSc Biomolecular Sciences degree here at the University of Strathclyde with the intention of pursuing Pharmacology and received an unconditional for the programme. I was delighted to accept this offer! After second year of the programme, I chose to pursue a joint BSc in Immunology and Pharmacology. This course has allowed me to understand a vast range of chronic diseases and how various systems (cardiovascular, endocrine, renal etc) operate in the body.

"From my course, I feel fulfilment, joy and knowledge in subjects I feel most passionately about."

Additionally, I’ve gained friends and have had the opportunity to attend various department balls and nights out which have allowed me to develop stronger social skills. Studying at Strathclyde has allowed me to gain a portfolio of skills due to the varied kinds of activities which are integrated into the degree courses including group tasks, individual tasks, reports, essays, case study and problem-solving exercises. In particular, my confidence has flourished through working on group tasks with my peers.

After graduating I would like to pursue a career in drug discovery, and more specifically, to research and develop treatments for both rare and chronic diseases including Rheumatoid Arthritis.

To anyone considering study at Strathclyde...

"I would recommend anyone to take this opportunity."

As long as you are passionate about the course you’re considering studying at Strathclyde, the lecturing team as a whole will give you the support and materials you need to flourish in your field. Studying in the heart of Glasgow is an incredible opportunity and I would recommend anyone to take this opportunity.