Railroad to Genomics

My career goal is to eventually lead my own research group that will focus on investigating the risk factors that cause zoonotic diseases i.e. pathogenic viruses and bacteria, and be able to help implement more effective infectious disease control measures.

My Masters degree in Medical Microbiology enabled me to have a solid background in molecular biology, genetics and epidemiology. My Masters thesis largely involved phylogenetic and genetic analysis to decipher virulence and adaptation markers in mammalian hosts of swine influenza viruses. The project has greatly helped me develop experimental and analytical skills that are crucial in my role as a graduate researcher.

I also had a hands-on experience in culturing a pathogenic bacterial strain (i.e. Corynebacterium diphtheriae) during my internship in Germany. That placement enabled me to monitor bacterial responses to host oxidative stresses using green fluorescent protein (GFP) biosensors.

My current training in microbial genomic and evolutionary analyses at DCU is giving me the necessary expertise to develop my own investigative niche, and deliver high-impact findings on disease surveillance. My experiences while doing my PhD project provide me a better understanding of advance and high-tech epidemiological language and translate it to practical systems that address pressing issues of public health and disseminate the information to front-line health workers.

My future posts will be mostly about research findings, scripts and pipelines I developed to streamline processes in investigating bacterial genomes.