Member News

Biology masterclass for scientists at Cambridge Regional College

Biology masterclass for scientists at Cambridge Regional College

Leading biologist Professor Helen Skaer, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Biology at Cambridge University, delivered a masterclass to students at Cambridge Regional College.

The internationally-renowned scientist gave a lecture to students on the college’s BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Biological Sciences for Industry – and then joined them for lunch to continue her specialist session.

Professor Skaer, who was invited to the college by Dr Julie Webb, a lecturer on the programme, said it had been a pleasure to talk to students.

“It was a most enjoyable session and I found that the students knew a lot and had some excellent questions. It was a privilege to talk to a small group where you can interact,” she said.

The course, the equivalent of a first year at university, is aimed mainly at working scientists - offering enhanced training for biological scientists currently employed in technical work and the skills and knowledge for employment in biologically-based industries.

Professor Skaer’s lecture covered embryology and stem cells, key areas on the students’ programme, said Dr Webb.

“It was a great honour to have Professor Skaer at the college and the students were inspired by her lecture,” she said.

“One of the great advantages of this course are the small class sizes, which mean students can get really involved in their lectures and they were totally absorbed by her talk. We were absolutely delighted she could join students and staff for lunch afterwards to continue the discussion.”

Dr Helen West, head of Science at Cambridge Regional College, said Dr Webb’s work in setting up such valuable enhancement sessions broadened the students’ experiences on the HNC programme.

“We are very lucky to have such eminent scientists on our doorstep who are willing to give up their time and enthuse the students about their areas of research,” she said.

To find out more about studying for a Higher National Certificate in Biological Sciences at CRC this September, see

For more information, please contact Lynn O’Shea, Cambridge Regional College Press Officer, on 01223 418773 or email

Article by

General college of further education.