A TALENTED Poole Grammar School student who hopes to one day work in biochemistry research has secured a place at the prestigious International Biology Olympiad.

Josh Dickerson, confirmed as one of the UK’s four-student team, is now preparing for the international competition in Bali this summer.

The 18-year-old, who became interested in genetics because his older brother has cystic fibrosis, aspires to study biochemistry at Oxford University.

Josh wants to work in research and hopes, one day, his findings may lead to a better understanding of his brother’s condition.

Of his place on the UK team, Josh said: “I’m really looking forward to going to Bali.

“I have enjoyed the challenge of the competition so far as it has stretched my abilities to the limit.

“The practical tests at Warwick University were particularly challenging but enjoyable.”

Josh’s teachers have been blown away by his achievements, especially as most of the students he was up against came from independent schools.

Poole Grammar School biology head Sebastian Lester said: “Josh is an outstanding biologist, one of the most talented I have taught in my time in teaching and this result is richly deserved.

“He is very modest about his talents and is a hardworking and popular member of his class.

“He has a very bright future ahead in the biological sciences.”

The British Olympiad challenges Britain’s most talented students and rewards them on their success. Poole Grammar School pupils took part in the first round, along with more than 5,000 from across the UK.

After the second round, where 121 students took part in examinations, the best 16 attended finals at Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences.

The competition is organised by the Society of Biology.

Society chief executive Dr Mark Downs said: “Biology tackles some of the 21st Century’s greatest challenges – from how we can feed nine billion people in a changing climate to tackling diseases such as cancer.

“It is vital that we inspire young people to become tomorrow’s biologists so I am thrilled to see the standard of this year’s competition.”