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This is a podcast from the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). We've asked Manuel Rivas from Nicaragua and the United States, why he decided to do a DPhil project in the Nuffield Department of Medicine. He also talks about his research and his experience living in Oxford.

MR: I decided to come to Oxford to do a DPhil project because I thought that it provided a great place to continue the research that I was doing before in Boston, Massachusetts at the Broad Institute after graduating from MIT undergrad. The level of expertise here at Oxford in the statistics field, and in the department of medicine provided a great combination of both worlds.

My research focuses on identifying DNA mutations that predispose you to disease. So currently we're focusing on type 2 diabetes, early-onset heart attack, Crohn's disease, and breast cancer. The idea is that with the availability of next-generation sequencing technologies, we'll be able to screen the entire genome for rare and low-frequency mutations that might be involved in the aetiology of the disease.

Life at Oxford, I am currently involved in the Oxford entrepreneurship competition at Oxford, and I’m also involved with the Clarendon scholarship programme. Currently, I live off-campus at Oxford with my wife, and we enjoy our time by travelling to London and to Bath.

To anyone considering studentship, I'd highly recommend it. The NDM programme and the NDM department at Oxford strongly encourage internal and external collaboration. Currently, I'm involved with collaboration with folks from the United States, from Switzerland and other groups and departments from the rest of the world, which is an opportunity that really wouldn't be afforded by any other programme I can imagine.