This week’s student spotlight introduces you to Miguel Dias, who has a background in Molecular Genetics and Gene Therapy. He decided to change his career field and to join the Applied MSc in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence programme at DSTI.
Tell us more about yourself.
During my PhD thesis, I worked on high-throughput DNA sequencing, developing novel techniques for molecular diagnosis and aiming the discovery of new disease-causing gene defects. Later, throughout my Postdoc, I was in charged for the development of a novel gene replacement therapy approach using viral vectors with the goal to cure a particular genetic vision impairment disorder.
Why did you decide to change your career field to Data Science ?
In the past, I performed microarrays and whole-genome analysis, targeting the discovery of new candidate genes related to several genetic disorders. Using these techniques, I was suddenly faced with an enormous amount of data that could not be analysed by the “traditional tools” know to me. For example, the whole-genome sequencing of a single person will generate approximately 200 gigabytes of raw information. This fact led me to start exploring new ways to analyse my data, and before I knew it, I had embraced the world of Data Science.
If you want to change your career to Data Science as well, don’t hesitate!
How does it feel so far to be a DSTI student?
Already a month into the programme, I can say it feels good. The courses are given in a fast pace, so no time to get bored. The staff is amazing, supportive and available to help the students with any issue. There is also a great dynamic between the students. The campus of Paris could benefit from higher Sunlight exposure though! I guess Nice-campus has the advantage on that!
What’s your plan for after graduation?
Before joining the DSTI, I researched ways to cure blindness through gene therapy. Now I would like to explore the potential of Computer Vision and understand how a “computer” can be taught to see the world as we do. I wouldn’t call it a plan, but a particular interesting field I want to pursuit.
If you could time travel, when would you go?
As a Doctor Who fan, I have always wondered “what if” I had my own TARDIS and could just go anywhere in time and space. I would definitely choose a distant time in the future, where I hope humans have evolved to a higher state of knowledge. I am most curious to see if we are indeed going to control our own evolution through genetic engineering and bionics, and how society will deal with all the environmental challenges we are facing today.