• Job title Metagenomic Bioinformatician and Software Engineer
  • Organisation European Nucleotide Archive
  • CourseApplied Bioinformatics MSc , 2018
Josephine Burgin
Josephine Burgin

For outstanding grades, dedication and contribution to the University, we congratulate Josephine Burgin, winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize 2019.

“Doing a master’s in bioinformatics allowed me to develop my software skills while also building on my knowledge of molecular biology. This meant that I could move towards software development which would support the research community.

“My thesis involved developing a bioinformatics pipeline, integrating bio-nano optical mapping (which is a new genomic technology) into the genome assembly of Solanum Chilense – a species of tomato that grows in Arabian desert regions. The Solanum Chilense tomato is important to food security and global crop production as it holds key genomic traits that can be used for further research into the common tomato, such as its ability to live in low water conditions.

“As part of my work with optical mapping molecules, I realised that there was demand for a visualisation tool that worked on a Linux operating system, as most of the alignment tools work on this platform. As a result, I took the initiative to develop a tool during my thesis that would visualise these alignments.

“Everything I learnt on my master’s has been useful to me in my current career. Learning molecular biology techniques, sequencing, complex assembly algorithms as well as working with the software have all been extremely useful.”

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize is the only prize awarded across all postgraduate taught master’s degree students at the University.