Udara Yapa

Graduate in BSc Honours Biotechnology

Udara Yapa, a diplomatic scholarship student from Sri Lanka, has just achieved a First Class Honours degree in BSc Honours Biotechnology, and his final research paper could be published in an academic journal.

One of his favourite topics in the BSc Honours Biotechnology course was enzymes and mechanisms where he studied the structure of enzymes and their interaction with substrate (other molecules). He also studied how protein engineering can be used to increase protein stability and efficiency, he says: "Biotechnology students are trained to manipulate and change proteins to increase their efficiency."

To Udara, the excitement of biotechnology comes from the way technology can be used to improve human health. According to him, "that’s the whole point."

He wants to work in the pharmaceutical industry, researching the area of drug design. "I like research and I like to explore the building blocks of biology."

Udara is definitely on the right track. He finished his degree with First Class Honours, and his final research paper on protein crystallography greatly impressed his tutors. They have recommended he submit his work to be published in an academic journal, which is an honour normally reserved for postgraduate work.

He explains how important the University of Westminster was to him. The university gave him a diplomatic scholarship, which he says was essential for his studies. "That gave me a big boost. I could come to university to study."

He describes the learning experience on the BSc Honours Biotechnology course as "fantastic", and sees the University of Westminster as an institution of support. But, at the same time knows success comes with perseverance. "In University, you earn it, there is no one to spoon feed you." He says, "You work hard for it, and you get it."

"There were hidden talents inside me; during these three years the University helped me to bring my talents out. Now, I am more confident… I have the knowledge and the grades that easily make me employable... [The University of Westminster] helped to improve my abilities and my talents."

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