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Claire Simpson

Where are you doing now?

I am a Staff Scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in the USA.  I came here after my PhD to pursue a postdoc, and was promoted last year to staff scientist.  I'm currently looking for a faculty position here in the US, and pursuing a broad portfolio of statistical genetics research in a number of complex traits, including autism and inflammatory bowel disease.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

Studying part-time was the only way I was going to be able to attend university since my parents could not afford to send me.

What was the best thing about your course?

The broad scope of the Biomedical Sciences course allowed me to find the areas of scientific research that interested me the most.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

My tutor, Mark Daniels, was always supportive and helpful and offered amazing advice.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

Much of the biochemistry, immunology and microbiology I learned (which many students who study for Genetics degrees don't necessarily learn) is immensely helpful when interpreting the results of my research, and placing them in broader context.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

My course had a considerable focus on lab work, which I really enjoy.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Consider all the options - studying part-time is hard work but leaving university debt free is a wonderful thing.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Fun, intense, enlightening.

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