Meet our Bioinformatics alumni
Vi Varga, MSc in Bioinformatics, 2022
PhD student at Gothenburg University Sweden.
I now work as a PhD student at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Specifically, I am at the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, within the Department of Life Sciences.
Here I work on two primary projects: orthologous clustering and functional annotation of the genome of the bacterial opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa; and datamining publicly available metagenomic datasets from the human vaginal tract, to identify protein-coding gene clusters in the bacteria that make up the majority of the microbiome of the vagina. Both of these branches of research examine the interrelatedness of organisms, whether within a species (P. aeruginosa) or between them (human vaginal microbiome). Both projects also share similar end goals, in that I hope to be able to contribute to better medical care for people infected by P. aeruginosa, as well as contribute to a greater understanding of how healthy (or unhealthy) vaginal microbial communities develop or are maintained.
From my education in Bioinformatics, I have had great use especially of the skills I developed during my Master’s Thesis, where I performed orthologous clustering and functional annotation of the genome of Trichomonas vaginalis. A number of the scripts I’m using now, and a lot of my theoretical background in this subject, was developed while I did my MSc Thesis work in Courtney Stairs’ lab at LU.
The best things about my Master’s program and my time in Lund was the hands-on learning and attentive Professors and TAs. I really feel that the courses in the Bioinformatics MSc program built on each other in a natural way, and I was able to learn and grow enough throughout my first year, that I was really well-prepared to do my MSc Thesis work. There’s a wide diversity of topics covered in the courses, so I had plenty of opportunities to dive into the things that interested me most.
Why should prospective students choose to study a Master’s in Bioinformatics at Lund University? I felt incredibly supported by the Professors and TAs and LU – I felt that they sincerely cared about both my learning, and my future career development. I got the hands-on experience that I needed in order to thrive in bioinformatics, with a solid grounding in theory, as well.
Gustaw Eriksson, MSc in Bioinformatics, 2020
Molecular biology, Lund University, Bioinformatics, 2020, Ph.D. student at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm
I am enrolled as a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute, researching the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). My role in the group, is to bridge the wet and dry lab, working both with molecular biology and bioinformatics. This means that I have a role in the research from when we receive tissue biopsies from women with PCOS, sequencing it and performing the data analysis and drawing biological conclusions. The aim of my PhD project is to define cell-type specific disease signatures in endometrium and adipose tissue in women with PCOS, and test the hypothesis that there is a co- regulation between epigenetic and transcriptomic profiles of endometrium and adipose tissue at the single- cell level.
My education at Lund University have given me a broad and solid foundation in both molecular biology and bioinformatics, allowing me to freely travel between the fields and combining them in my research.
Beside studying, I also worked at the university in research, learning skills and making contacts for my future research. I was also engaged in the nation life, living and volunteering mostly as a quizmaster. During my studies, I also went abroad twice to the Max-Planck-Institute in Germany, studying both avian influence in mallards and ancient DNA from Neanderthals. Together, these experiences made me stand out when applying for positions after graduating.
During my studies in Lund, I was active in the nation life, especially as a quizmaster. Graduating from LU, I have made friends for life that I still have contact with and cherish. With LU being such a broad university, it also allowed me to learn of other subjects outside my own. Many of these subjects, especially within life science, are acceleratingly generating data. A M.Sc. in bioinformatics from LU has prepared me for the future of science and data analysis, allowing me to reveal insights of diseases which we have not been able to do before.
Sergii Gladchuk, MSc in Bioinformatics, 2018
To sum up, Bioinformatics program at Lund University was a key to my new life, where I follow my dreams now. And since 2016 I know about 50 alumnus and current students of this program - honestly, none of them are disappointed.
Background: Bachelor's degree is in Chemistry from National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
"Bioinformatics", "next generation sequencing", "precision medicine" - I had never heard these terms four years ago. I worked in totally different sphere back then, in different country and was not involved in any kind of research at all. So, if anyone told meat that time, that in 2018, I would obtain master degree from one of the best universities in Scandinavia and work as a bioinformatician in a research group, where I analyse next generation sequencing data and help developing tools for precision medicine in breast cancer, I would say give me few minutes to google all those words first and finally I would answer - you must be kidding that is some kind of a joke.
Anyhow, in 2016 I decided that I should do something better with my life. I loved to program and had some background in natural sciences from my bachelor degree, which I obtained in 2010. On top of that, I wanted to be involved into some cancer research or in simple words to "cure cancer". Those blurry desires led me to the Bioinformatics Master's program at Lund University, which seemed like a good program to combine my scientific background and love for programming, with potential perspectives to do cancer research. Luckily, I met all the program requirements and was accepted in 2016. In August I left my old life and moved to Sweden in order to start master program. I was still not sure that I made right choice. However, after only 1st semester all became clear - it was one of the best decisions in my life. I was very pleased with top quality of courses. I learned Python, R, Bash/Linux and so much more thanks to emphasis on projects and practical work. Also I was literally shocked with all the possibilities opened by this program. 16 students at my group had 20 presenters with up to 5 possible master projects, ranging from ‘discovery of new pathways in bacteria’ to ‘heredity of human diseases’. Of course, I chose to stay at Lund University Cancer Center throughout my master thesis project and later as an employee. Another astonishing thing about this master program is its continuous improvement - my year was the first year to study Python not Perl, and new practical tasks to learn new tools and programs are added each year based on input from numerous very knowledgeable experts from different departments at Lund University.
Chayan Kumar Saha, MSc in Bioinformatics, 2017
After completing my PhD I am now working as a Bioinformatician and Software Developer.
Background: Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
I started dreaming to be a bioinformatician when I took a bioinformatics project work as part of my Bachelor’s degree in Bangladesh. I was amazed how the computer tools predicting the outcome from biological data. I always wanted to be the person developing tools for biological research. Fortunately, I have got the opportunity as a Bioinformatics PhD student in the Dept. of Molecular Biology of Umeå University, Sweden. Our research aims at understanding the evolution of protein function and structure and developing bioinformatics tools for comparative molecular evolutionary analyses. We’re interested in how evolutionary analyses can be united with experimental investigation to reconstruct functional evolution of proteins, and to generate testable hypotheses about unknown aspects of protein function.
Before coming to Sweden, I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. After that, I started my professional career with Roche and later worked for Sanofi, both are globally recognized pharmaceutical companies. Almost after three years of working, in 2016, I got the opportunity to study Bioinformatics in Lund University. I grabbed the opportunity and left the job cause, I had a strong belief that this will open the door of my dream. As soon as I arrived in Sweden, I got the feeling that I have made the right choice because Lund university ensured the exact learning environment what I looked for. I got supportive people around me and friends from different parts of the world with diverse cultural backgrounds. My thesis supervisor was more like my guardian, encouraged me and always boosted me up with the confidence. Study advisor was like a shed above my head, always supported me every possible way she could. Undoubtedly, the education at Lund University, contributed me a solid foundation, both in knowledge and in research experience, which is still fuel for my work. To my personal experience, I never felt alone though I was almost seven thousand kilometres away from my family. I can’t appreciate and credit enough the faculty and staff for their conscious effort in creating such an empire where personal goal can become achievement through developing skill in a structured way.