Lorna Fitzpatrick (2011-12)
"Previously obtaining an undergraduate degree in genetics and cell biology, I was looking to find an MSc directed at developing skills in cutting edge cell therapeutics.
The MSc offered at UCL provided a unique opportunity to study in an environment that is at the forefront of developing gene therapy for a broad spectrum of diseases. The course focused on clinical and molecular aspects of cell therapies and also provided modules that are fundamental to developing a career in science, such as statistics and a mandatory laboratory project.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCL. The academic and administrative staff were friendly, obliging and dedicated to supporting the students. The class size was small, ensuring that all students were fully engaged and discussion with the lecturers was encouraged. Excellent external speakers were brought in from a broad spectrum of scientific backgrounds and we were given some insight into different career fields.
The practical research module was highly beneficial for building on basic lab skills and techniques as well understanding the process involved in executing an independent project. Based on the experiences gained during the MSc course, I decided to stay within this area and have begun a PhD in stem cell biology upon completion of the degree. Undoubtedly, without the qualification from a research centre of excellence and the exposure to academics within this field, I would not be in the position I am in now. An MSc is a great way to meet and work closely with professionals and UCL has excellent resources to provide an enjoyable and worthwhile experience."
Shashank Shrishrimal (2011-12)
"After my BSc in Biotechnology from India, I was looking for international exposure and a chance to work with leaders in the field of stem cell biology and gene therapy. The MSc course in Cell and Gene therapy at UCL was a perfect match for my academic interests and provided me with this opportunity. UCL, being one of the best universities in the world, lived up to my expectations and provided an environment for maximum learning within one year.
The program initially, provides enough time for international students to adapt to the new environment and meet their course mates. Help is always available at the university and institute if it is required. At the Institute of Child Health (ICH), Professor Christine Kinnon and Dr Mona Bajaj-Elliot helped me understand the new system of education, which is completely different from my home country, India.
The modules of the course are designed to give you a good base in the field of biomedical research and provide you with key skills that are essential to any researcher, before entering the laboratory. It gives you an update on the latest progress being made in various genetic and infectious diseases, by researchers working on a given disease. Every presentation is aimed at exposing the student to different areas of research as well as building a complete understanding of a subject (Like the module on Research methodologies and Statistics). The module on applied genomics is one of the most challenging modules of the program and the most satisfying at the end of the course. The presentations given during the HIV module, stem cell and tissue repair module, and molecular aspects of cell and gene therapy module kept me excited throughout the course, about the future possibilities of developing treatments for diseases. The course also helped me understand the challenges in the field of gene therapy, and the rigorous safety and regulatory requirements for its application.
The laboratory experience at the Molecular Immunology Unit (MIU) - ICH, till date has been unmatched. Dr Paolo De Coppi, gave me an opportunity to work on his project on induced pluripotent stem cells, providing me complete support for my progress. Within a short span of 16 weeks, I successfully completed two research projects, only due to availability of all facilities and excellent mentorship by Dr Sayandip Mukherjee. From having absolutely zero research experience to being confident enough to complete any given research project, would not have been possible without this degree. I would like to thank, Professor Christine Kinnon and Dr. Steven Howe for this course, and would highly recommend it to future students who are interested in biomedical research and are looking to make a successful career in research.
Being the first one from India to finish a specialized course in gene therapy, it has helped me get noticed by recruiters and secure a PhD position at University of Nebraska Medical Centre (UNMC), Omaha."
Srinath Rajaraman (2012-13)
"My fascination towards advanced cell therapies and personalized medicine prompted me to pursue my Masters degree at UCL. A chance to study and work alongside the pioneers in the field of cell and gene therapy was too alluring and in the end I was well rewarded for my prejudice.
The Masters course was programmed to introduce the students into the ever burgeoning fields of advanced cell therapeutics at a molecular and clinical level along with modules designed to shape up one's competency level for a career in research. The quality of Professors and other lecturers from various prestigious institutions created an intellectually stimulating environment in classes followed by interactive sessions. The varying modes of assessments for different modules ensures an overall development of the students character towards science. The final mandatory lab project provides an opportunity to work alongside an excitingly collaborative scientific group with the flexibility and prospect of choosing a project in one's particular field of interest. Continuous guidance and support from the faculties and administrative staff makes one feel at ease and regular meetings are conducted to ensure a comfortable academic year for students.
I personally felt inspired and motivated at the chance to work along-side the big names in the field of cell and gene therapy which further improves one's visibility and future prospects. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCL and with the knowledge and experience gained thereby going a long way towards securing my Ph.D in the field of gene therapy. I would thoroughly recommend this Masters program for those students who wish to be involved in the exciting field of translational science and UCL provides the perfect launch pad for such budding scientists.”
Page last modified on 01 jul 14 16:16