The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 3

Week 5

The good start I was hoping for on Monday morning didn’t quite come into fruition. But, it wasn’t a total disaster. The job hadn’t failed or been killed, it just hadn’t finished running yet. Which was fine… except I wasn’t sure exactly how long things were allowed to run until they were killed by the job scheduler. I’d heard ~2 and a half days, and as the clock approached almost 3 days of run time I started to get very nervous, especially since the log files were indicating that the jobs were only about 65% complete (turns out it took 5 days but it was allowed to continue running so I’m taking that as a win).

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The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 2

Week 3

When I say that coming in on Monday morning to find that all 12 of the jobs I left running over the weekend had executed perfectly brought equal amounts of surprise, joy and relief, you may think “you should have more confidence in your abilities”. But I think most bioinformaticians will know the suspense of checking the log files for a job that has been running for 20+ hours and not wanting to get our hopes up too high- just in case. But of course, there was no time to linger on that success as it was only the first stage of a multistep pipeline. 

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Should you join a professional society?

Throughout your 3 years on the STP you will undoubtedly see and hear about many professional bodies or societies related to your specialism who are eager for you to sign up and can seemingly do little more than take hard-earned money out of your wallet. 

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The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 1

Week 1

The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Sydney, Australia. This is where I’m lucky enough to be doing my elective placement for 6 weeks as part of the STP. The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) is part of the Garvan Institute, a prestigious medical research facility, and as the name suggests- specialises in Genomics diagnostics and research.

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Reflections from a rainy Manchester University (many of you will grow to love this!)

As many new trainees will have just completed or shortly be starting their first stint at their respective universities, Ang Davies, a senior lecturer on the clinical bioinformatics teaching pathway, takes a look at that pathway and how clinical bioinformatics as a profession has developed over the past 7 years. From the first year of training where the entire profession was practically founded, to the breakthrough that is routine genomic testing across England, who better to reflect on that journey than someone who helped pave the way?

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STP reflections | Public engagement

Over the past 2 years on the STP and past 2 weeks particularly, I’ve done lots of outreach and engagement activities with students/parent/teachers from all sorts of backgrounds. On June 25th I attended the South West Big Bang Fair, July 1st I attended a talk on encouraging young scientists to join the profession at the South West HCS conference and 3rd July I gave a talk at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust work observation week about careers in healthcare science.

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International conference checklist

International conferences are exciting, interesting and educational platforms for sharing the latest scientific developments in your field. The chances are, every specialism of healthcare science will have a European society representing the field and ergo, an annual conference occurring in (hopefully) some far-flung corner of the continent. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the European Society of Human Genetics annual conference this year in Gothenburg, Sweden. As my first international conference, I went in with very few expectations and learnt a lot- both in science and about the logistics and experience of attending a conference abroad. So, for this weeks’ post, I thought I could share some of the things I learned and things I might do differently next time.

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Big bang @ Weston

One of the great things about the STP is the opportunity to take part in public engagement and STEM activities. One of the highlights of the year is when “Big Bang” season comes around. For those of you who don’t know, the Big Bang Fairs happen across the country and are an opportunity for students and the public to find out about all the different careers in STEM industries. They aim to be really interactive and hands-on and are an amazing opportunity to promote healthcare science to young people, parents and teachers. Recently, Exeter-based genomic counselling trainee, Harriet Copeland, organised a South West contingent of trainees to attend the Big Bang Fair in Weston-Super-Mare, and below is her account of what they got up to. If anyone else has any stories from a Big Bang fair they’ve attended please get in touch!

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Thoughts on the OSFAs

The South West healthcare science trainee network (SWHCSTN, for short- rolls off the tongue right?) held a OSFA workshop last month. As the OSFAs are imminently approaching for 3rd years (sorry- not that you need reminding), I thought I would put pen to paper and share some thoughts from the day. I am a second year, I haven’t sat the mock OSFAs and I also do not have a secret source from the school letting me in on any trade secrets, unfortunately. What I’m offering is some reflections from the day and just in general from speaking to people who’ve taken the OSFAs and lived to tell the tale.

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