Rohit Siroya

Country of originRohit Siroya
United Arab Emirates

What did you most enjoy about your course?
My favourite aspect was how broad the initial curriculum was, allowing you to gain exposure in the various different aspects of Immunology. This was heightened by the focused nature of the 7 month research project, which really allowed you to hone in on the specific areas which you were interested in.

What did you most appreciate about the Faculty/College?
The course organisers were extremely dedicated towards creating the best learning environment possible for the students. They were very helpful with any academic queries, and were always willing to work with you when you needed extra help on certain topics. Many of the external lecturers brought in were also exceptional, leaders in their respective fields and great teachers!

How did it feel to receive the Dean's Prize?
It was completely unexpected to be honest. Looking at the caliber of my fellow students I had never even considered that I would get the prize, but I was very humbled when it happened. It was also very gratifying to see that all the hard work I'd put in over the year had paid off!

What are you doing now/What do you plan on doing after graduation?
I am currently applying for positions within healthcare consultancy companies so that I can gain an inside perspective on how the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies work and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I want to eventually do an MBA, and then use my combined scientific and business background to work in a pharmaceutical company in a business-orientated role.

Past prize winners

Ralf Wenz

Ralf Wenz

Why did you decide to join the MSc Immunology?

I decided to join the Imperial College Immunology Masters course because it has the ideal balance between lab work and teaching (nearly 50/50). Moreover, Imperial College London is among the best in the world, at least within the top 10. Therefore, the MSc Immunology course provided me with the following key aspects: great theoretical background, outstanding lab experience, and connections to world leaders in science.

What part did you enjoy the most?
I think both, taught and lab aspects, both were crucial and enjoyable, as one build on the other. The combination and balance of the two made it exciting.

What was the most valuable thing you have learned?
The most valuable learning outcomes of the MSc were that my thinking was (re)-shaped regarding data interpretation, experimental design and hypothesis building.

How do you think the MSc Immunology will change or support your future career choices?
The MSc Immunology completely changed my future prospects. Because I had great teaching and access to some of the best research in the UK (and the world) I was able to get a PhD scholarship in a great lab, with awesome mentorship, in the field of my choice.

What tips would you give new students who are joining the course this year?
Think long-term, prepare early, make connections, be proactive and use this amazing opportunity.

What are your career plans for the coming few years?
After graduating from the MSc Immunology I was able to start working in the Dallman Lab at Imperial College London, which is fully funded by the Imperial President's PhD Scholarship. Thanks to this generous help, I am now able to investigate aspects of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a zebrafish model.

After this if I'm allowed to dream, I would imagine getting an early career fellowship after my PhD moving further into my field of interest under the mentorship of scientists more experienced than me.

Ralf completed his Msc project with the NHLI, Dr Clare Lloyd on “How does ILCs activation affect long term lung homeostasis?”

Leon De BoerLeon DeBoer

Why did you decide to join the MSc Immunology?
I wanted to challenge myself in a one-year intensive course that covered all the basics in immunology in a dynamic and above all exciting place. London is one of the biggest and most prestigious immunology hubs in the world, with many global experts spread around various high-impact and well-funded institutes and universities. I wanted to make the most of my time in London, and building up a network here was one of my prime objectives.

What part did you enjoy the most?
I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures by professors and doctors that are experts in their areas, and hearing about their research. I also enjoyed the many exciting opportunities that the course provided like attending the joint BSI conference with the other UK immunology MSc courses, as well as the varied nature of the different in-course projects and tasks.

What was the most valuable thing you have learnt?
Lab-based skills are invaluable, and so being able to build on my repertoire was a fantastic opportunity. I also appreciated the networking opportunities I gained in immunology, either via lecturers, social or formal events, both through the course and the wider London immunology groups.

How do you think the MSc Immunology will change or support your future career choices?
I have met many people through this course and it has given me fantastic opportunities in building my career. Although I was offered several PhD positions, I chose to stay in the group I did my project in because I had the skills and expertise to be able to (hopefully) rapidly publish several papers, visit conferences and build on my skills I acquired in my MSc. The course itself laid the groundwork for this – and hopefully presents a springboard for further career development.

What are your career plans for the coming few years?
I am currently working as a research technician within the group I did my MSc internship in. I hope to use this as a springboard to a PhD, as with more experience (and hopefully publications). After a PhD I hope to do a post-doc – after which I will see where my science career will take me! There are many other options including education and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as bio-technology startups, so the sky is the limit.

Leon completed his Msc project with the NHLI, Dr Darius Armstrong James on “The role of macrophage cell death in orchestrating the immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus”

Luis Gonzales

Why did you decide to join the MSc Immunology?
During my studies in medical school I realized that the future of healthcare depends on translational medicine. Therefore, I decided to invest in further studies to develop skills in lab-based research. The MSc Immunology at Imperial College London offers an opportunity to develop those skills, in a field that is meaningful for every medical specialty.

What part did you enjoy the most?
The part that I enjoyed the most was the research project. The MSc provides access to state-of-the-art equipment and supervision by authorities in multiple fields. To be welcomed into a renowned research group and to be given the opportunity to contribute was a privilege. A short way of describing this experience is like an “intellectual challenge in a friendly environment”.

What was the most valuable thing you have learnt?
I learned many things that I consider valuable, but the multiple techniques I used during my research project are definitely the most relevant. The research project is an opportunity to become proficient in specific tools. Getting new and highly specialized skills, like flow cytometry, is extremely important to establish a researcher’s profile.

How do you think the MSc Immunology will change or support your future career choices?
Since I worked in a research project with a clinical set-up, my decision to pursuit a career in translational medicine was reinforced. Additionally, it allowed me to create a professional network that enables me to connect with experts in the field of my interest.

What are your ideal career plans for the coming few years?
I am looking to continue my training with a PhD. I am sure that the MSc Immunology will allow me to get into a good programme in a prestigious institution.

Luis completed his project with the Centre for Haematology, Dr Nichola Cooper on “Novel inhibitory mechanisms of megakaryopoiesis in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)”