Queen's biologist's painless injections work scoops award
A Belfast biologist who is trying to take the sting out of injections has struck gold at the House of Commons for her pioneering work on micro-needles.
Dr Maeliosa McCrudden saw off competition from more than 200 researchers to win gold for her biomedical research.
The 34-year-old, a post-doctoral research fellow at Queen's, walked away with a £3,000 prize.
The scientist, from Co Down, was taking part in the SET for Britain competition.
She presented her research on micro-needles - tiny projections on platers - that take the sting out of injections, to dozens of politicians and a panel of judges.
As well as the gold award, Dr McCrudden took the top prize, receiving the prestigious Wharton Medal. "I'm delighted to have been afforded this opportunity to present some of the innovative research I'm involved in," she said.
"As a researcher, I feel passionately about communicating my work to politicians and the public to make the work more accessible and to fully exploit its potential.
"I feel that these awards reflect not only on my own efforts but also those of my dedicated colleagues. On a personal note, the fact that this has coincided with International Women's Day has given this extra resonance."
SET for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK's thriving science and engineering base.
Stephen Metcalfe MP, chair of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: "These engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future, and SET for Britain is politicians' best opportunity to understand their work."
Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology, added: "SET for Britain is a rare opportunity for politicians to meet our most promising scientists and understand their work.
And Professor Richard Vaughan-Jones, president of The Physiological Society, said: "SET provides an opportunity for parliamentarians to engage with the research the Government funds."