Velislava Petrova (Bulgaria)

Originally Bulgarian, I moved to the UK in 2009 to study Virology and Immunology at the University of Bristol. A series of unexpected events brought me to The Sanger in 2011 where I spent a year as a placement student developing methods for full-genome sequencing of RNA viruses.  After getting a taste of virus phylogenetics and overcoming my fear of coding, I came back to the Sanger for a PhD focusing on the genetics of adaptive immune responses. I used B-cell receptor sequencing to characterise the evolution of antibody repertoires following infection and vaccination. Despite the lack of experience in statistical genetics, my first encounter (of the third kind) with Team Anderson made me hugely interested in the field and played an integral role in shifting my research interests towards the human aspect of host-pathogen interactions. I feel I still have a lot to learn, so I will continue my efforts of combining the newest tools in immunology with more traditional genetics approaches for characterisation of immune phenotypes. My breaks from science are mostly dedicated to traveling.  I am passionate about perfumery and I like exploring the history, the science and the art behind perfume-making. As a result,  I can often be found in perfume-making classes, workshops or just on a casual tour around Grasse.