"Bioinformatics", "next generation sequencing", "precision medicine" – I had never heard these terms four year ago. I worked in totally different sphere back then, in different country and was not involved in any kind of research at all. So, if anyone told me at that time, that in 2018 year I would obtain master degree from one of the best universities in Scandinavia and work as a bioinformatician in a research group, where I analyse next generation sequencing data and help developing tools for precision medicine in breast cancer, I would say give me few minutes to google all those words first and finally I would answer – you must be kidding that is some kind of a joke.
Anyhow, exactly 4 years ago I decided that I should do something better with my life. I loved to program and had some background in natural sciences from my bachelor degree, which I obtained in 2010. On top of that, I wanted to be involved into some cancer research or in simple words to "cure cancer".
Those blurry desires led me to Bioinformatics Master program in Lund University, which seemed like a good program to combine my scientific background and love for programming, with potential perspectives to do cancer research. Luckily, I met all the program requirements and was accepted in 2016. In August I left my old life and moved to Sweden in order to start master program. I was still not sure that I made right choice. However, after only 1st semester all became clear – it was one of the best decisions in my life.
I was very pleased with top quality of courses. I learned Python, R, Bash/Linux and so much more thanks to emphasis on projects and practical work. Also I was literally shocked with all the possibilities opened by this program.16 students at my group had 20 presenters with up to 5 possible master projects, ranging from ‘discovery of new pathways in bacteria’ to ‘heredity of human diseases’. Of course, I chose to stay at Lund University Cancer Center throughout my master thesis project and later as an employee. Another astonishing thing about this master program is its continuous improvement - my year was the first year to study Python not Perl, and new practical tasks to learn new tools and programs are added each year based on input from numerous very knowledgeable experts from different departments at Lund University.
To sum up, Bioinformatics program at Lund University was a key to my new life, where I follow my dreams now. And since 2016 I know about 50 alumnus and current students of this program – honestly, none of them is disappointed.
Sergii Gladchuk, graduated in 2018, PhD student
Master's degree in Bioinformatics