My journey into the world of Bioinformatics

How many bioinformaticians knew they wanted to specialise in bioinformatics when they were 18 and sitting their A-levels? Probably not a lot.

Considering that bioinformatics is such a specialised and multidisciplinary field, sometimes I think about how I ended up choosing this as my career path. Initially, I went to the University of Kent to study Biomedical Science with the ultimate goal of getting into Graduate Medicine, like the majority of my classmates. When did I decide that medicine wasn’t for me? Probably when I decided I really disliked pharmacology.

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What is pathology?

But… don’t pathologists just look at dead people…?

…Not quite.

I’m well aware that here, at STP Perspectives, we bang on about “healthcare scientists” a lot. That’s because we want our readers to be as passionate about it as we are! However, this week, as it is National Pathology Week, it’s only right that we bang on about pathologists. So what exactly is a pathologist and why should you care about them?

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Specialisms | Clinical Pharmaceutical Science

Specialism Icons _

Emily Plimmer, 1st year Clinical Pharmaceutical Science trainee in Staffordshire talks about her role.

Clinical Pharmaceutical Science (CPS) is one of those specialisms that always seem to make trainees in other areas pull a confused face – they’ve often never even heard of us! Yet the work we do is absolutely vital for patients. In simple terms, we make medicines. However, that really doesn’t do it justice; we are involved in not only making medicines, but ensuring standards of safety, efficacy and quality are met for all patients, and that is no mean feat!

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A glance into the world of Clinical Embryology

Let’s start at the beginning; what is infertility?

Infertility means not being able to conceive a child. Many people face problems with conception, this can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, but not all can be diagnosed. In 25-30% of cases a cause cannot be identified even after the most thorough investigations. This is due to the fact that some of the factors cannot be assessed. Common causes of infertility include problems with ovulation (whereby the body does not release eggs naturally), issues with the tubes, or for male partners this would include problems with the quality or ability of the sperm. For these issues there is a range of treatments that are offered through the assisted reproductive pathway.

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3 months until STP applications open!

So you want to apply for the STP 2019 intake? Read on to hear our top tips for making that application stand out. These tips are tailored purely for the written application and we will do another post later on to tackle the interview process.

If you’re not sure about the process for the application there are basically 2 parts:

–       Aptitude tests: Mathematical and logical reasoning.

–       Personal Information and short written answers to 4 questions.

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An amateurs guide to blogging

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Artwork by Joe Mahon

I feel like I talk a lot about things being scary on this blog.

Blogging is scary. Blogging is putting your writing, reflections and opinions on the internet and totally opening yourself up to criticism. If you don’t think that’s scary then can you come and write a blog post for us please?!

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Re-Work Deep Learning in Healthcare Summit

re-work conference

On the 21st-22nd September, at a swanky venue in the centre of London’s financial district, AI and deep learning experts gathered to network and share their research and developments in the field. My colleague, Adriana, and I were lucky enough to win tickets from One HealthTech to attend this event.

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Stepping Outside Your Box and Patient Engagement

Last year I attended the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) research day, where STP trainees and other speakers gave various talks and presentations. It was a very useful day, learning about other trainee’s research projects and receiving lots of useful advice. One of the keynote speakers, Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, gave a great talk detailing her journey to becoming a clinical scientist and beyond. One point that particularly stuck with me was “Step out of your box” and the idea of saying “YES” to any opportunities that may come your way, no matter how much out of your ‘box’ they are. As a previous genetic technologist and current trainee bioinformatician, I consider myself firmly in the ‘science’ box. It’s nice and comfy, and feels pretty safe…

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ECCB18 at a glance

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend the European Conference of Computational Biology (ECCB) in Athens, Greece. As a proud greek, the moment I saw there was a bioinformatics conference in my home country I really wanted to go, but also it was an excellent opportunity for me to network, create new contacts and ideally find potential elective opportunities. Every trainee, depending on the trust, has a budget allocated by the school to cover the expenses of going to university. If you are not too frivolous when booking your university accommodation, you might end up with some leftover budget that can be used to attend conferences like this one. Don’t be afraid to ask! If you find an event or a conference that you think might be interesting, ask your TO if you can go. Obviously, don’t find the most expensive conference on the other side of the world cause there’s so much your budget can stretch to.

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How to: Nail conferences as a trainee

conference

Conferences can be interesting, exciting, informative and even inspiring. But they can also be a little bit daunting and definitely exhausting. I’m feeling very slightly conferenced-out at the moment, having attended 2 back-to-back last week and knowing I’m attending another meeting next week. It’s safe to say there is only so much information my brain can hold so I’m lucky none of my shoes were lace-ups last week.

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