‘I can get more out of the data I generate in the lab'

  • Student stories
Student Tess Hofman

Third Year Medical Diagnostics student Tess Hofman wanted to learn more about genetics and data processing, so she chose the minor Bioinformatics for the Life Sciences.

‘In the lab we generate all kinds of data, but I noticed I didn’t really know what you could do with all this information. Besides this I am also very interested in genetics and everything surrounding this subject. These two things combined nicely in the minor Bioinformatics for the Life Sciences, so it was an easy choice for me!

So far we learnt a lot about handling data and understanding and applying coding languages. Because many people in this minor lack a background in bioinformatics, they really take you by the hand and explain the process step by step, which is really nice. And they give you space to link the data techniques you learn and techniques and equipment you use in the lab, so you can really follow your own interests.

We also work on different project where we have to apply our programming skills. In the first project we worked on data from a DNA sequencer. We received the data from a patient with a brain tumor, and we had to figure out which mutation had caused the tumor. During these projects you learn more about the genetics behind this disease and you also learn more about programming. I think that is a really fun combination.

This minor was definitely a good choice for me, so I would highly recommend it to everyone that wants to learn more about genetics or programming. I really am more conscious of the way I use data now, I can get more out of the data I generate in the lab, and I also understand some of the lab software better. Although I don’t think I will really be programming much, I do think these skills will help me in my entire career!’