Lucy Murtha

Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship Winner 2012

Area of Research

Lucy's PhD project investigated the mechanisms that cause dangerous raised pressure in the skull following stroke, and how a short duration of body cooling (hypothermia) can prevent this pressure elevation and improve overall outcome. Her PhD was titled "The effects and mechanisms of therapeutic hypothermia in intracranial pressure elevation following ischaemic stroke".

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My Jennie Thomas Scholarship Experience

The Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Post Graduate Scholarship provided generous support as a top up to my PhD scholarship. This top-up allowed me to focus 100% on my work without the need to work additional jobs to support myself. In addition, the provision of this scholarship allowed me to travel to the University of Glasgow, UK, to conduct an international collaborative project to utilise specialised equipment that was not available in Newcastle (animal MRI machine). This project contributed to a chapter of my PhD thesis, and resulted in a high impact journal article which went on to win the Best Research Higher Degree Publication of the Month, and of the Year by the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, and the Faculty of Health and Medicine, respectively. On a personal level, I developed a better understanding of 1. How different laboratories can be run and managed, 2. How stepping out of the comfort zone of my PhD laboratory helped to develop my independence as a researcher, 3. How a similar culture to my own can be different in so many ways (especially the Scottish love for haggis), and 4. How to survive a Glaswegian winter. This experience was invaluable to my personal and academic development and could not have been achieved without the support from the Emlyn and Jennie Thomas Post Graduate Scholarship.

The provision of the scholarship not only supported me through my PhD candidature, it has continued to help support me on a professional and personal level into my postdoctoral years. The support from Jennie and all the members of her scholarship family has been priceless and is something that I truly value and feel incredibly lucky to be a part of.

Lucy at her PhD graduation ceremony

MRI of a Stroke in a rat brain

The University of Glasgow from Kelvingrove Park

The Scottish Highlands

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