Evolving through learning | Internship case study


Evolving through learning | Internship case study

Student Study
Oct 24, 2023
 min read

Master of Epidemiology student Phoebe Yu wanted to learn more about the latest innovations in genomics research. It led her to apply for an internship with global biotech company Illumina, which she hoped would give her new experience in marketing and strengthen her existing analytical abilities. 

“I've always admired Illumina's role as a pioneering force in the genomics industry,” she said.  

“My background in epidemiology has equipped me with skills in data and trend analysis. This internship, with its focus on funding trends and presentation, seemed like a perfect opportunity to practice these skills.” 

Over the course of the internship, Phoebe developed a research project investigating funding trends of multiomics studies in Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.  

“I began by providing an overview of prevalent omics profiling techniques and technologies for each country, delving into the primary funding bodies,” she explains. 

“I then charted the historical and current funding trends, leading to predictions about future trajectories. My findings culminated in recommendations for Illumina's strategic focus in the multi-omics funding landscape.” 

Phoebe believes she gained a deeper understanding of the genomics industry through the experience and picked up a few new skills along the way. 

“While I've previously worked with medical research datasets, this project introduced me to a different aspect,” she says. “It was more marketing relevant, enriching my previous analytical experience.” 

A trip to the Illumina lab located within the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre was a highlight of the experience, and Phoebe appreciated the opportunity to see the rapid advances being made in genomics.  

She is especially grateful for the direction of her supervisor, Nicholas Tan.  

“His guidance through this journey was invaluable,” Phoebe says. “Especially in teaching me to maintain focus and not get overwhelmed by extraneous information. Nicholas instilled a belief in me that while we can't know everything, we can continuously evolve by learning.” 

Genomics-driven healthcare is in the process of revolutionising how biomedical science diagnoses, treats, cures and prevents disease around the world.