Corpus Christi College Oxford

Follow Corpus Christi College Oxford on Facebook

DNA gel electrophoresisBen Krishna


I studied Biochemistry at Corpus Christi College from 2008-2012. I am now on a PhD program at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, funded by the Wellcome Trust. I am studying human cytomegalovirus, a less well-known virus which is asymptomatic in healthy people. It has a nasty habit, however, of lying dormant and returning when a patient is immunologically weak. Human cytomegalovirus is therefore a serious medical problem for patients who have recently had a transplant, have cancer or AIDS. My work involves studying how the virus remains dormant and developing drugs that can interfere with this mechanism.

I hadn't visited Oxford before I submitted my UCAS application. I wouldn't recommend this to prospective students but luckily, choosing Corpus was a brilliant decision! There are many aspects of Corpus that I could discuss, but I have decided to focus on how Corpus, especially my tutors, helped me get the work experience I needed for my PhD.

Early into my time at Corpus, I decided that I wanted to study for a PhD, but I would need some work experience in a laboratory. I asked my tutors for advice on how to get summer studentships. They explained what I should be looking for, how I should go about asking, and where I could find more information. I found a group at King's College London were happy to take me, but deadlines were fast approaching and we had less than a week to apply for funding. My tutors were all incredibly helpful, filling in application forms and writing me letters of recommendation. I am grateful for all the help I got!

Four months later, I was informed that the application was good, but not successful. The laboratory would be able to fund most of the work themselves and provide me with some money to cover my accommodation, but this wouldn't be enough for an entire summer in London. I asked Corpus for help and was directed to to the Travel Grant scheme. I applied for a grant, explaining how useful this opportunity would be for me. Corpus were very understanding and offered me enough money to cover the rest of my expenses. In the end I had a fantastic summer in London, and got the laboratory experience I needed for my PhD.

Network Design