Q&A- Jason Grealey
Meet Jason Grealey who is a Data Scientist in the Cancer Data Science Team.
What got you interested in science?
I developed my interest in science in the later years of school when I was around 15 years old. I loved studying and learning about mathematics, physics and biology, and I had friends in similar positions which helped. Somehow, I’ve managed to work in a research role that I think can be thought of as a combination of these main areas of science.
What is your current role at CMRI and what does it involve?
I’m a cancer data scientist where I use mathematics, statistics, cancer biology, and computer science to try to better understand cancer. It involves programming and mathematics, where I develop and use algorithms on information gathered about cancer to try to learn any new and underlying patterns.
What study path did you take to get here?
I studied for five years at the University of Edinburgh where I completed an integrated Masters of Theoretical Physics. My Master’s thesis utilised mathematical simulations to understand cancer growth models. After this, I studied a PhD at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute at the Inouye Systems Genomics lab where I developed artificial intelligence models for genomic prediction and investigated the carbon footprint of computation. Towards the end of my PhD, I knew I wanted to focus my research on cancer, and I’m happy to have found myself here at CMRI – ProCan.
Was there anything 'unconventional' about the approach you took?
I moved across the world from Ireland to Australia to undertake my PhD, which was fun but was also quite difficult at times. Perhaps branching over from theoretical physics to mathematical biology/data science could be considered unconventional and took me a long time to get used to.
Anything you'd like to say to inspire the next generation of scientists?
Try to enjoy the things you study, it will help a lot. I believe a lot in spending time with other students/friends/peers and helping each other out, as some things are better explained by different people, and sharing knowledge is vital. I’d also recommend talking to your lecturers/ teachers about things or topics that interest you. This helped me form the directions of study and research which led me to where I am now.
Learn more about Procan here.