Joe Clarke (United Kingdom)

I am from the north-east of England, where I worked as a veterinary surgeon for 5 years after graduating from the University of Edinburgh. This was a brilliant and extremely challenging job that I had always wanted to do. However, eager to refocus my career on human health related research and get closer to the scientific fascinations that led me to veterinary, I undertook an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This really pushed me to think about the framing of research questions that (if answered) can advance our understanding of complex phenomena and impact peoples lives positively, taught me the ever present pitfalls of confounding and inferring causality and emphasised the importance of actively listening to a diversity of perspectives. I also worked at the London School for a year in the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, right after the Covid-19 pandemic, which was a rich learning experience in the department that helped lead the response. I developed a strong interest time during the MSc at the nexus of genomics, epidemiology, and mathematical/statistical modelling and was awarded a studentship at the Big Data Institute in Oxford looking at minor variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the viral evolution group with professor Lythgoe.
I am now a BBSRC funded PhD student and very grateful to be here at Sanger, eager to make a focussed contribution to our understanding of human health. I am currently working with the single cell RNA sequencing side of the Anderson lab looking at differential gene expression in the terminal ileum. It is a challenge that i am really enjoying! Outside of work I am happiest when with my wife and cats, being outdoors, spotting wildlife, and pre-pandemic we ran a music events organisation and radio show in Newcastle aimed at improving the diversity and safety of music venues in our community.