After completing a genetics degree Emily spent nine months working at the EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) – an experience which did much to shape her future.
In her role as a trainee curator she began to develop a deep interest in polygenic scores as a means of using data to address healthcare issues.
More generally she decided that she might be suited to a career in genomic data, so decided to look for ways to gain qualifications, skills and experience.
Emily is now on the Precision Medicine MSc course at the University of Leeds and benefits from an HDR UK scholarship.
She said: “It makes a big difference being that much more financially stable and being able to focus on my studies rather than worrying about finding jobs.”
The course appealed to Emily due to its focus on the medical side of bioinformatics and the way it has enabled her to learn new techniques that she will need in the future.
The subject matter has also been compelling – in the first semester there was a project to carry out a full analysis of RNA sequence data in an attempt to identify why one tumour cell was drug resistant but another was not.
Emily is doing her dissertation on melanoma polygenic risk scores.
Looking to the future she has already applied for some PhD opportunities that will allow her to further develop her expertise in bioinformatics and her growing interest in programming.
My journey from third year medical student to computer programmer
28 September 2023
Elise Uzokwe shares her journey from medical student to coder as part of the 2023 Health Data Science Black Internship Programme.