University of Dundee

Undergraduate student publishes review on eczema.

24 Apr 2017

Undergraduate Biomedical Sciences student, David Bell, has had his literature review from his Science Communication Honours Project accepted for publication in the open access journal World J Dermatol. David undertook his honours project with Professor Sara Brown in the School of Medicine. The focus of her research is to understand molecular and genetic mechanisms in atopic skin, in particular atopic eczema. David’s review summarises current understanding and highlights some novel treatments in development for this condition.

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is an itchy inflammatory skin disease with complex aetiology, including impairment in barrier function and concomitant inflammation,” explained David. “Increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms in eczema pathogenesis has opened up opportunities for new therapeutic targets. This review updates the field on the current knowledge in this area.

Undertaking this honours project has allowed David to improve his learning and skills dramatically. “I learnt how to focus on one topic and how to gather information in a set time period. Importantly, I learnt that although a research paper has been published you should always double-check the information using other papers. I now appreciate the amount of research that is required to create and produce a literature review. The honours project experience also greatly improved my speaking and presenting through the poster presentation, viva and oral presentation.”

“The Science Communication Honours Project offers students the opportunity to learn new skills in communicating science to a wide range of specialist and non-specialist audiences. It’s a real challenge, but these skills are essential for a productive career in science, as well as being transferrable for many other career paths. David worked hard to produce an excellent review and it’s very rewarding to see this published, to share David’s insight with an international audience,” said Professor Sara Brown.

David undertook his degree in biomedical science because of his “keen interest in the body, how it works and what happens in disease” and he hopes to pursue a career using his scientific background in a business environment. Of his time at the University, David said, “I've definitely enjoyed studying for my degree at the University of Dundee and if I had the chance to choose again I would still pick Dundee. The university is a very sociable place for students; there are so many clubs and sports that there really is something for everyone. Moving from a small town to Dundee was a good step for me because although it is a city it doesn't feel intimidating as everyone is very friendly and it’s pretty easy to get about. I would say everything about Dundee and the University of Dundee have made the past few years of University a very enjoyable experience. I would certainly recommend biomedical sciences as a degree and the University itself.” 

Publication is available here: