UCL Population Health Sciences


Student Spotlight: Jamie Wong, BSc Population Health Sciences (Data Science) Alumni student

14 March 2023

We speak to Jamie Wong, BSc Population Health Sciences (Data Science) Alumni student, to find out what he has been up to since graduating and how the programme helped him get there.

Jamie Wong

What is your fondest memory of your time at UCL?

My fondest memories of UCL were definitely from being involved in the wide variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities that are available at the university. I found immense enjoyment in leading societies such as Students for Global Health, educating students about contemporary issues in healthcare worldwide, and introducing students to cuisines and cultures they may have never been exposed to before as the Co-Founder and President of the Food Society. Being able to meet students from such diverse backgrounds meant that there was never a dull moment during my time at UCL.

Please tell us a bit about the work you are doing now.

I am current completing an NIHR-funded MSc Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and will be spending my summer using electronic health record data to investigate associations between colorectal cancer survivorship and adverse mental health outcomes. Following this, I will be returning to UCL as a Doctoral Student under the UCL-Birkbeck MRC DTP, where I hope to inform, design, and evaluate effective health interventions to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities in the UK and beyond.

How did your UCL degree help you get to where you are now?

My degree was instrumental in providing me with the analytical skills required to work in the extremely interdisciplinary field of Epidemiology and Public Health. The opportunity to study a wide range of topics, including infectious diseases, behaviour change, health economic evaluation, international development, and advanced data science methods helped provide me with a strong foundation to effectively contribute to public health projects. This includes analysing large healthcare datasets to identify patterns in disease distribution, as well as informing and evaluating health policies and interventions as part of my career.

What have been your career highlights?

My main career highlights have encompassed conducting research across a wide variety of disease areas, including cancer treatment repurposing, obesity, STI, and air pollution policy within NIHR and MRC-funded research units. I have been fortunate to conduct this work alongside leading researchers, as well as with public health practitioners from institutions such as UKHSA, and have had the chance to present my findings at national conferences to inform future health policy.

What would be your advice for current students?

Really make the most of the opportunities available at UCL. The amount of staff that are working on cutting-edge research projects, particularly in epidemiology and public health is immense, regardless of what disease area you might be interested in. Don’t hesitate to send an email to a researcher/professor whose work you are particularly interested in to start a conversation, as that’s how I ended up becoming involved in some of my roles. Do also make the most of the opportunities available with the Students’ Union, as there are bound to be societies and/or activities that fit your own interests, and in the rare event that there aren’t, you can very easily start your own society like I did.

If you are interested in the BSc Population Health Sciences (Data Science), find out more.