Studying for an MSc in precision medicine has put Lewis Batkin at the forefront of data science developments and given him the opportunity to learn from world-class experts.

He developed an interest in coding and big data while studying for a degree in genetics at Queen Mary University, London.

Lewis Batkin

Lewis said: “I realised that that was kind of the area that I kind of wanted to move into. I think it’s the new frontier, there are a lot of things that can be unlocked there.”

As a result he is now studying for the MSc in Precision Medicine: Genomics and Analytics at the University of Leeds which he says has shown him the potential of data science and the “real work that it’s doing for people on the front line”.

Lewis also values the fact that the degree is so hands-on, with regular workshops on types of coding and big data applications and the chance to work with actual patient data.

In one project he is using UK Biobank data to explore the association between alcohol and breast cancer outcomes – the evidence to date has been limited and ambiguous but it could make a significant difference to healthcare.

He said: “It’s laying the foundations for the association between alcohol and breast cancer using health data analysis. So the project is really cutting edge – I was glad to be a part of that.”

Looking ahead Lewis hopes to build a career in health data and health data analysis – potentially helping develop new technologies to improve medical systems or medications.