Oncology MSc student profiles
This is a collection of reflective accounts from Oncology MSc/PGCert graduates. They share their experience of studying at the University of Nottingham, what they enjoyed and how it helped their careers.
Preyanka Nash, 2018 graduate
"Being a cancer researcher was my ultimate career goal and the University of Nottingham was the door that opened the horizon of cancer research for me. I choose Nottingham for its reputation in cancer research and now I can proudly say it was one of the best decisions in my life.
Today whatever research ability I carry and the confidence I bear as a young cancer researcher who is ready to start her new endeavour towards the cancer research solely attributable to the Oncology MSc."
Jonathan Curd, 2017 graduate
"My time at Nottingham was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The lectures were engaging and because they were delivered by both academics and clinicians it gave you a broader range of insight into the world of cancer research. The practical sessions and research project also equipped me with all the skills I needed to go on to do a PhD in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, also at the University of Nottingham.
Having only achieved a 2:2 at undergraduate level, I was thrilled to be able to return to university, work hard to graduate with a distinction and then go on to do a PhD, none of which would have been possible without this course."
Whitney Baine, 2016 graduate
"What originally drew me to this course was how is touched on multiple aspects of oncology research. In a single day we could go from learning about the molecular processes which initiate and propagate the disease and then later attend a lecture detailing the latest first line chemotherapy treatments for patients.
After my degree, I pursued a career in clinical trials. The immunology course has turned out to be an invaluable resource in today’s world of clinical trials and drug development. By understanding the mechanisms of action behind new immunotherapies being trialled, I am better able to anticipate patient side effects and work with my clinicians on providing the best possible care. Applying to the MSc Oncology program at Nottingham was truly one of the best things I have ever done."
Dwayne Ricardo Tucker, 2017 graduate
"Studying this course provided the most conducive environment for me to evolve as a clinical scientist. Being taught by some of the most brilliant minds in my field is nothing short of an advantage provided by one of the world’s leading universities.
I especially enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a vigorous six months laboratory research in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).This project was perfect for me as it brought together my passion for cancer science with a long-time zeal for haematological disorders, and allowed me to hone my technical skills in the laboratory. Moving forward as a scientific officer at the University of West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica, it is very apparent how the MSc course has prepared me for this new phase of my career."
Lorna Fern, 1998 graduate
"The breadth and depth of the course content was amazing and gave me something to really get my teeth into. It gave me a solid comprehensive foundation in all aspects of oncology from epidemiology and statistics, the biology of disease, drug development, types of treatments, research methods and effects of treatment. 20+ years later I still recall things I learnt during the MSc. I found the laboratory-based project challenging but also essential to my development. Without it, I would not have gone on to do a PhD - which was never part of my original plan.
I now work for the National Cancer Research Institutes' teenage and young adult clinical studies group as their TYA researcher and lead for patient and public involvement. Working on an age group rather than a cancer type means I need to know a lot about a range of cancers that occur in that age group. Young people also have unique cancer and host biology as well as responses to treatment. The content of the course meant that it was all understandable to me. I have over 25 peer-reviewed publications including the first and last authors in the Lancet Oncology and British Medical Journal. I've written around five book chapters, and I am often invited to speak at national and international conferences and meetings. Which is not bad for someone who didn't know if they wanted to be a researcher."
Amina Abdul-Aziz, 2011 graduate
"I chose the course because it covered multiple basic cancer science, clinical and drug discovery aspects. The most exciting part was being able to experience bench side research and contribute to scientific manuscripts. The knowledge, experience, technical and soft skills I gained allowed me to excel during my PhD and later in my postdoctoral training. I can say with all confidence, that this course gave me abundant exposure to be able to decide on a career path...I find myself applying for things I learnt in the Lab daily.
What has been amazing is the continued informal support I have received from my lab supervisors as well as classmates. The course is very holistic and detailed and without a doubt, made me the well-rounded cancer scientist I am today. In a few months, I will be transitioning to my first faculty position as an Assistant Professor. The progress I have made, and my career trajectory were in big part inspired and made possible to the Oncology MSc."