Year 12 lecture series - Enhanced Talks

For year 12 students studying Biology at Post 16. Teachers are invited to book a series of online taster lectures in a range of bioscience subjects. 


Are you currently in year 12 with a passion for Biological Sciences? Are you considering studying biosciences at the next level and want to find out more about what that entails? Join us for a series of 30 minute taster lectures where you will hear from current staff and post graduate students in the Faculty of Biological Sciences about the latest developments in research at Leeds.


How to book

We’re not currently taking bookings, but if you are interested in the talks please e-mail


What are the requirements for the Enhanced talks?

The Enhanced talks are for year 12 students interested in studying Biological sciences at Higher Education.

To attend as an individual student you must have teacher and parental permission to attend.


Where do the Enhanced talks take place?

Activities will be held online using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. A link to the session will be sent in advance and we are happy to test out the technology with your school prior to the event, if required.

What are the planned activities?

Subject to availability we have the following talks on offer:

Crops For The Future:

Cara, a PhD researcher in Plant Developmental Biology at the University of Leeds, will begin her talk by briefly outlining her academic background including A-Level subjects, undergraduate degree and research masters degree. This talk will present the reasons why improved crop species (wheat and barley in particular) are needed to help to feed the growing world population. Cara will discuss the areas of plant science which scientists are trying to improve including her own area of research: belowground space and plant growth. At the end of the talk, career options will be discussed and questions from the audience will be answered.

How To Make Proteins And Influence People

Dr Brian Jackson, Protein Production Research Facility Manager at the University of Leeds, will talk through the techniques of making proteins in a molecular biology lab. He will give an overview of the “central dogma” of molecular biology and then describe the processes of PCR and molecular cloning, expression of proteins in E. coli, and finally different protein chromatography techniques. In the second half of the talk he will give examples of what these proteins are used for, focusing on real-life examples of what are currently being worked on in his lab. This will include the use of proteins in cancer research & treatment, studying developmental disorders, use of proteins in synthetic materials and finally (and very relevant) how proteins will hopefully be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Antibiotic Resistance: Our Fight Against Superbugs

Antibiotic Resistance currently poses an ‘apocalyptic’ threat to global health. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics to avoid entering a post-antibiotic era. In this presentation Merianne Mohamad, PhD candidate studying Antibiotic Resistance mechanisms, will talk you through antibiotic resistance research happening at the University of Leeds and how you can help with the fight against superbugs.

Disease Modelling

Rowan Taylor, a PhD researcher of the new Leeds Centre for Disease Models at the University of Leeds, will discuss how researchers model human diseases in order to understand and treat them. The talk will cover the medical need for disease research and how collaborative research between scientific researchers and clinical professionals, is essential. Rowan will also discuss exciting cellular and molecular techniques, including CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and organoids, that are used in the lab to model human diseases. She will put this into the context of her own research into inherited retinal diseases using 3D retina cell models. Finally, Rowan will discuss the wide range of scientists that are involved in disease research, demonstrating that breadth of educational pathways that can lead to disease research. This talk will be especially of interest to anyone wishing to consider career pathways that connect with the Medical field.

Heart Failure

With Dr Ruth Norman, Teaching Fellow in Human Physiology/Anatomy at the University of Leeds.