Successful scientist Emma Cope has devoted her career to neurological study – and it’s all thanks to the first-class education she received at Tonypandy Community College.
The 25-year-old from Penygraig is enjoying a hugely fulfilling career in a Welsh laboratory where her research in to Alzheimer’s and Hodgkin’s Disease is becoming widely acknowledged.
But as Dr Cope herself admitted, the career has been down to the support she received from a very early age thanks to staff at the Tonypandy College.
She explained, “I was head girl at the College and part of the Community Action Group which was established up when I was in sixth form. It gave us so many wonderful opportunities to meet people, enhance our life-skills and experiences.
“The standard of education at the College was excellent and I know it remains that way today.
“Without doubt I couldn’t have achieved so much in my career with the College and all that it gave me. The support of staff during my time there, through my university years and during my research work continues.”
Originally from Chapel Street, Dr Cope attained high grades in A-Levels at Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Computer Studies at the College.
She studied Biochemistry at Cardiff University and showed such remarkable promise while studying her Phd that she was awarded an £86,000 scholarship by the Alzheimer’s Society to carry out exclusive research for them.
“It was quite an honour,” she added. “The aim of the research is to create a cell model so we have a better understanding of the mechanism of the disease and help with discovering new methods of treating it.
“I’m continuing my work in the laboratory creating another cell model for Hodgkin’s Disease. The work is demanding but absolutely fascinating and so worthwhile.
“But it’s thanks to Tonypandy Community College that I’m doing it. I loved my time there and still love to visit whenever my career allows.”
Headteacher Helen O’Sullivan added, “We are always immensely proud of the achievements of our students and look forward to hearing more excellent news about Emma’s pioneering career.
“She is testament to the high standards of teaching at the College and congratulate her on all that has been achieved so far.”