Travel Grant recipient crosses the pond

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Diana Githwe

Diana Githwe, another of our fabulous travel grant recipients recently attended a large conference in California! Keep reading to hear about Diana's work and experience in the USA.

"My name is Diana Githwe and I am currently a fourth and final year PhD student in the Lowe Lab at Newcastle University. I am so honoured to have received the DWS Travel Grant to attend the Sensory Transduction in Microorganisms Gordon Research Seminar and Conference (GRS/GRC STiM). The conference took place in January 2024 in Ventura, California and I had a brilliant time presenting my work to others in the field.

Diana presenting

Work in our lab focusses on investigating complex carbohydrate breakdown in the human gut. This breakdown process is conducted by helpful bacteria that provide us with this really important function. My PhD project specifically looks at how this breakdown process is regulated in the bacteria. I have been using a Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation all throughout my PhD to do lots of anaerobic bacterial growth and luminescence assays. These assays have enabled me to visualise what effect bacterial genetic modifications have on carbohydrate breakdown. This work has advanced my results tremendously.

Dianas cabinet

Presenting my work to both junior and senior
researchers was a fantastic experience as I received
lots of great feedback, ideas to take forward and met
some potential collaborators. This experience will
undoubtedly strengthen my PhD thesis, defence and
future career aspirations. I have improved my
confidence and enjoyed listening to exciting new
breakthroughs in the field. Thank you very much to
DWS for supporting my attendance at the conference!"

If you are currently utilising a Whitley Workstation in your research and wish to present your findings at a event or conference, get in touch with or see if you may be eligible on our webpage: Workstation Travel Grant | Don Whitley Scientific (


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