Sarah French

Graduate role: NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) Genomics, The Sheffield Children's Hospital

Photograph - Sarah French

Through the MSc Human and Molecular Genetics course, Sarah got the opportunity to complete a 10-week placement with the pre-karyotyping oncology team at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust. Since graduating, Sarah has joined the NHS Scientist Training Programme.

"The lectures within the masters programme gave me an in-depth understanding of the ever-accelerating interplay between genetics and medicine. Whilst, the clinical research project gave me the opportunity to see this first-hand.

"I was able investigate the efficacy of the current clinical pathway implemented in diagnosing haematological malignancies. We used retrospective patient cases to evaluate different molecular techniques employed in clinical genetics. This experience enabled me to become competent in skills such as karyotyping and fluorescence in situ hybridisation.

"The practical training offered was to such a high quality that I was deemed competent by the standards of the NHS and selected to take on a 10-week placement with the pre-karyotyping oncology team at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. The placement allowed me to apply the skills learnt, as both an undergraduate and postgraduate, to positively impact patient outcomes. This invaluable professional experience in clinical genetics was essential to my success in being offered a place on the prestigious NHS Scientist Training Programme in genomics.

"As a trainee clinical scientist, I am currently working towards becoming competent in both cytogenetic and molecular genetic techniques. Most recently, I have received training on the classification of variants identified through large-scale sequencing projects. Identification of pathogenic variants is essential for correct diagnosis but also for devising subsequent treatment strategies.

"The opportunities that were available to me during my Masters course have allowed me to pursue my desired career path, but more importantly, continue to positively contribute to the progression of public health care."

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