Imperial College London

From the classroom to industry: an NHLI graduate's career path


Betty Hu

Betty in the lab

Betty Hu, a recent NHLI graduate, came back to tell us how her Master's has opened doors and led to a career at a global pharmaceutical company.

After studying a BSc in Biotechnology, Betty chose to stay at Imperial College London to complete a MSc in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells. Betty was filmed during her time on the Master's and you can hear what she thought about it back then on YouTube. Earlier this year she returned to The National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) to talk to current students about her experience on the programme, and the career path she has embarked on since graduating. 

When asked why she chose the Master's at NHLI Betty told us, “during my Bachelor’s degree at Imperial, we had some quite extensive discussions over CRISPR-Cas 9 (a technique for gene editing) and the potential applications of the technology. I wanted to understand the translational application of the technology, and the gene therapy part of the course really caught my eye.”

The Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells programme delivers cutting-edge education in next generation therapies for scientists and clinicians. It can be studied as a full-time MSc programme or as a four-month Postgraduate Certificate, and provides translational research experience with an understanding of gene and nucleic acid-based therapies, regenerative medicine and pharmacology.

After graduating from NHLI, Betty became the youngest project manager to date at Sandoz Development Centre, a division of the Novartis Group, a global pharmaceutical conglomerate.

Discussing her current role with the current students, she explains that she coordinates development activities for generic launches, and that her responsibilities include early stage project evaluation, project scheduling and budgeting as well as communication with stakeholders.

Betty and peers at Sandoz Development CentreBetty credits the MSc for giving her exposure to critical thinking and the skills to research new areas from scratch. This experience, she says, was key when starting her career at Novartis, which led to her current position at Sandoz Development Centre.

Professor Uta Griesenbach, the programme director for the MSc in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells comments, "after graduating we have seen students stay at Imperial and other UK universities to do a PhD, move abroad to continue their studies, or take up exciting roles in industry in the UK or overseas. Recent graduates have gained roles at Novartis and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and it’s brilliant to see so many of our students continue to study or work in a field related to the MSc".

Postgraduate study at NHLI

NHLI is proud to offer five unique postgraduate courses, in addition to postgraduate research opportunities, aimed at developing skills and knowledge within the fields of cardiovascular and respiratory health. With close links to The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK, and NHLI’s centrally located campuses in London, NHLI is an inspiring place to further your education and learn from leading experts in the field.

Meet more of the postgraduate students at the National Heart and Lung Institute.

The courses on offer are:


Miss Lizzie Lomer

Miss Lizzie Lomer
National Heart & Lung Institute

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Drugs, Careers, Graduation, Stem-cells
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