Mum is motivation for Catherine’s medical research studies

Published: July 12, 2018

Catherine Pennington, former Idsall sixth form student, has very personal reasons for wanting to pursue a career in biomedical sciences.

Her mother suffers from Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis – for which there is currently no cure – and she wants to help find a long-term treatment.

Catherine, 21, based near Albrighton, moved to Telford College from Idsall sixth form in Shifnal, and said she thrived in the learning environment on campus.

She secured a place at her first-choice university, in Sheffield, and is studying biomedical sciences, hoping to move onto a PhD at the end of her degree.

She is currently on a summer school at Hong Kong university of science and technology, on scholarship from her university.

Catherine Pennington | Former Idsall sixth form student | Telford College | Hong Kong

Catherine Pennington | Former Idsall sixth form student | Telford College | Hong Kong

“There is no cure for Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis, and little understanding of the courses of both of these diseases,” she said.

“So that is my motivation – ultimately I want to study at least one of these, and make advances in people’s understanding. Others can then build on the knowledge, and eventually find a treatment that isn’t just painkillers or pain management.”

Catherine immersed herself in student life at the college, spending a year as student council president while studying biology, chemistry and physics.

“I made good friends that I still keep in touch with now. It really was the kind of environment I feel I thrived in – I found my confidence there.

“I took most of the opportunities available to me, including a summer research placement, a rotary club bursary and even the charity bungee jump!”

She added: “I don’t think it matters when you decide what you want to do, or how late you enrol onto a course, as long as you make the most of the opportunities available, and commit to your decisions.

“Even if you end up changing your mind later on, the transferable skills and character building will always be valuable no matter what you end up doing.”

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Catherine Pennington and her mother

Catherine Pennington and her mother