Xiyun has a background in biomedical sciences (cells and molecular biology) from University College London. She completed a MSc in Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

For her summer project, she gained exposure to genome-wide association studies and used the Mendelian randomisation (MR) method to assess causality between total bilirubin levels and risk of type 2 diabetes. This naturally led into her work as a research assistant in genetic epidemiology at Brunel University London. Her work involved using MR methods, genetic risk score and survival analysis to investigate alcohol consumption related questions.

This experience motivated her to seek higher training in epidemiology and public health research and applied for the PhD programme. She hopes she will become more independent in research and produce impactful research that will help improve people’s health.

Now in her first year, Xiyun felt that she has been given a lot of opportunities to learn about different areas within health data research from both HDRUK and her University. She also has opportunities to get involved with national projects. Currently, she is part of a project to assess population impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on long term risk of cardiovascular diseases using electronic health records.

In her free time, she enjoys playing badminton, cooking, playing the piano and ice skating.