Postgraduate Blog

3 Jul 2018

Rachel Fitzgerald; MSc in Bioinformatics with Computational Biology

Masters that matter

Rachel developed an application to assist in predicting the shelf life of drug products. The application makes it easier to monitor drug stability by using the statistical programming language, R, to create an application which automatically performs statistical analysis on drugs developed at Janssen Sciences.

Rachel completed the MSc in Bioinformatics with Computational Biology at UCC. The opportunity to undertake an industry placement gave Rachel the opportunity to really hone in on her excellent programming skills and nurture her entrepreneurial mindset by creating something completely new and of huge benefit to safety in developing drugs. Rachel, who started her masters without any previous coding experience is now a data scientist at Janssen Sciences, where she works with data analytics and technology projects daily and believes that her Masters "ignited a passion in an exciting and growing area, which I’m sure will be the focus of my career for many years to come."

"This area is growing as we generate more and more data and need to improve and automate how we analysis that data. As well as this the pharmaceutical industry is competitive and advancing, and innovation is key to staying a leader in the field. Using R and other languages to approach these problems allows me to be creative and innovative when exploring new ideas and solutions. It’s also great to be able to turn a time consuming and monotonous task into something simple and easy for someone. Using these technologies within the pharmaceutical industry is becoming more common, as people move away from off the shelf and old solutions, and begin to embrace languages like R as the new norm."

Rachel plans to start a PhD at UCC with Dr Marcus Claesson, at the APC Microbiome Institute.

To find out more about the MSc Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, please click here

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