Before genetics. Due to the lengthy time I have

Before beginning my master’s degree in Human Molecular Genetics, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science.  Making a transition from a broad subject such as forensic to genetics proved to be a worthwhile choice, as being on this course for the past six months has been a formative and enriching experience. While I was doing my undergraduate degree, I developed an interest in research. I have always been fascinated to see how medical research scientists have dedicated themselves to improving people’s health and that is exactly what I want to achieve in my future. During my final year project at Nottingham University, I developed an interest in genetics as well as bioinformatics. After completing my degree, I decided to study a course that would enable me to further gain more knowledge in human genetics. Furthermore, I decided to come to Imperial because I wanted to be on a course that would expose me to the statistical and computational methods used in genetic studies.Although I have only been exposed to the field of genomics for the past few months, I have proved myself a fast learner.  I believe that I possess the necessary skills and experience to become a researcher in genetics. Due to the lengthy time I have spent in labs, I have been exposed to numerous laboratory apparatus and I have acquired the ability to use technical equipment with accuracy. Additionally, I am now much more confident in designing and carrying out experiments independently. During my lab practical I carried out basic DNA analysis techniques such as genomic DNA isolation, DNA sequencing, PCR and gel electrophoresis. Additionally, I have learnt methods for high throughput genotyping of DNA samples and how to interpret and use these data to carry out a genetic association studies.Even though the laboratory skills I acquired during my forensic studies were mainly based on analysing and interpreting evidential materials found at crime scenes, I have managed to use those skills during the genetics labs. I have implemented safe working practices in the labs, including handling potentially hazardous chemicals and biological agents. I have also recorded relevant information accurately, legibly and at the time of the practical in order to be able to explain the complex techniques to someone who may be interested, as well as, to help me remember the steps I took to carry out the experiments. The experience of learning bioinformatic methods has been challenging, however, it has made me become more excited in learning new techniques that I had never experienced before. Within these past few months I have gained numerous skills, I am now much familiar with using UNIX to process large datasets, and I have a better understanding of accessing and using public data repositories (e.g. Gene Expression Omnibus, UCSC Genome Browser database, ENCODE Consortium). Furthermore, I have come to the realisation of the complexity and difficulty in the interpretation of biological data (e.g. candidate loci for complex human diseases such as obesity) produced through Genome-wide association studies. I have learnt how Scientist often combine bioinformatic and experimental approaches to address these issues. Additionally, for one assignment I had to read about the clinical relevance of cis-regulatory polymorphisms. This further gave me a huge admiration for the many molecular and biochemical techniques that are used to analyse how these polymorphisms impact susceptibility to many common human diseases. Through this experience I have now developed a research interest in a Ph.D programme that focus on the study and characterisation of cis-regulatory elements found in the non-coding region of the human genome and their role in human diseases. Having acquired adequate knowledge in bioinformatics and molecular biology, I believe that I am on my way to developing my research capacity. To improve my wet lab and bioinformatics skills I have picked a six-month project (beginning in March) that will focus on developing new methods for the analyses and the quantification of changes in gene expression that occur in cells in response to drug exposures. I will gain more knowledge in cell culture techniques, RNA and sequencing library preparation, qPCR, RNA-sequencing, and RNA-seq data analysis (R coding).I am thoroughly enjoying my learning experience at Imperial College. Having been to the numerous lectures and practical run by Imperial stuff, I would consider it an honour to pursue my Ph.D. at Imperial College. And given my own scientific experience and academic achievements, I believe I am a good candidate for this project. I feel that the role of a researcher would be a very interesting and challenging. However, I believe that my love for science and a desire for improving my skills will help me to flourish in this role. I have enclosed my CV to show my skills and experience in detail. Thank you for taking the time to read my personal statement and CV and I look forward to hearing from you.

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