Siew-Mei Yap, MRes in Neuromuscular Disease
Why did you choose to study your programme and what made you choose the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology?
I chose to study the MRes in Neuromuscular Disease because I had developed an interest in neuromuscular diseases during my clinical neurology training and wanted to gain up-to-date knowledge on the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and clinical trials of emerging treatments for a broad range of neuromuscular diseases.
I chose UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (QSION) because it is a renowned centre of excellence in the clinical care and research of people with neuromuscular diseases. Because most neuromuscular diseases are very rare, and QSION is a quarternary referral centre for people with these rare diseases, being in QSION provides a unique opportunity to study large numbers of people with rare disease to develop a specialised approach to the diagnosis and management of these diseases. The institute is well-resourced with strong collaborations with various departments (neuroradiology, neuropathology, neurophysiology, allied health professionals, clinical and basic science researchers). The staff at QSION are passionate about their clinical, academic, and research endeavours and are experts in their field.
What do enjoy most about your programme?
I enjoy being able to interact with clinical and basic science experts in the field during lecture sessions, to be able to gain a nuanced perspective on what is still unknown about the pathophysiology, phenotype, and genotype of certain neuromuscular diseases, and what challenges are being faced in therapeutic development of these diseases. The course curriculum is broad and well-structured. The course coordinators are very helpful and responsive. There is an inclusive culture and supportive learning environment here at QSION.
What impact has receiving the scholarship had for you?
Being a recipient of the QSION International Excellence Scholarship has benefited me in three ways. Firstly, it has shown me that my professional interests align with those of the QSION neuromuscular department and has provided me with confidence in pursuing clinical and research work in neuromuscular diseases as a possible career path. Second, it has demonstrated to me that QSION is invested in the development of the younger generation of upcoming clinicians and researchers. Thirdly, this partial fee scholarship has helped reduce the financial costs of pursuing this programme and has allowed me to focus on the work pertaining to this programme.
What advice would give prospective students thinking of studying at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology?
To the prospective students thinking of studying at QSION, I would say, go for it, being at QSION will inspire you to develop a professional interest, teach you to take responsibility for your own learning, and instil important personal and interpersonal values to help you grow.
What are your plans for the future once you have completed your degree?
After completion of the degree, I plan to complete my clinical neurology training, gain further clinical and research experience in the neurology/neuromuscular realm, and continue to maintain professional contacts with the people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with here in QSION.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your time at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology?
I am grateful for and have absolutely no regrets about my time here at QSION and look forward to using my experiences at QSION to thrive and prosper in the next stage of my career.