This is a podcast from the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). We have asked, Annette Burner from Germany and South Africa, why she decided to do a DPhil project in the Nuffield Department of Medicine. She also talks about her research, and her experience living in Oxford.
I decided to come to Oxford because I love the town. I think it is great to live here and I really wanted to come to do the DPhil here in this very special environment. Then, why I decided to apply for the DPhil at the NDM is because it is a huge department with a lot of clinical application in it. And then also, because I'm working in a great group. So I met my supervisor Ellie Barnes before, and she's great. The atmosphere in the group is great, and I also really wanted to work on an immunology project, which I'm now working on.
My research is based on T cell immunology, so I am working in a group, which tries to develop a T cell vaccine against hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a very diverse virus. A bit similar to HIV, which makes it very, very difficult to find proper T cell responses against the virus, but we are thinking that that's the way forward to cure the virus. So I personally am looking at immune responses, in different HCV genotypes and try to define them further, to then take this information to develop a vaccine. Yeah, hopefully at some point have success, in patients. Life in Oxford is very diverse. Life in Oxford includes life in college, which is something very special and something you probably would not find anywhere else. So you have the college life with dining, rowing, you have got the possibility to take part in very different college groups so you can have the opportunity to be part of a discussion club. So, me personally, I row, and I really enjoy being on the rivers and also with the other students there because you also meet people from very different topics and science areas.
I think I would have never talked to a politician somewhere, and then also you've got great opportunities to play music, go to concerts. London is very close, whenever you want some real big town feeling, it is just an hour away. And then of course you can also go to the Cotswolds and cycling, hiking. When you are considering applying for NDM, I'd really recommend doing it because it's a great programme. It is a four-year programme, which is a bit exceptional, also pays for all your college fees and university fees, and the groups are very interesting. You can go into a lot of different directions you can do, immunology, like I do, but also statistics or mass spectrometry, or genomics. So there is really a lot of different things to choose from. And then also, it gives you support so you always have someone there if you've got a problem. You get into great colleges with the programme. So yeah, I would really recommend applying for NDM.