Non-academic Panel

Waqar Ali

Waqar Ali, Genomics Plc

I am currently working as a scientist at Genomics PLC, a start-up company based in Oxford and founded by several Oxford University academics. I gained an MSc in Computer Science and DPhil in Statistics (2011) at Oxford, supervised by Professor Charlotte Deane. After completing the DPhil, I stayed on in academia with a postdoctoral research position at Imperial College London, followed by another one at the Department of Statistcs in Oxford. I then decided to switch to a non-academic career path and have been at Genomics PLC since 2015 where my role involves development and implementation of methods for statistical analysis of genetic data, with a focus on disease markers of interest to the pharmaceutical industry.                                

Rebecca Hamer

Rebecca Hamer, Magdalen College School, Oxford  

I am currently working as a Biology teacher at Magdalen College School. After completing a DPhil in Medical Sciences in 2008 I worked as a post-doc and associate director of the Doctoral Training Centre for 4 years with Professor Charlotte Deane. After having my first child I decided to change career and become a teacher as I had enjoyed my teaching for the DTC so much. I joined Magdalen College School in 2012 and teach all ages from 11-18.   

Catrin Moore

Catrin Moore,  Head of Operations for Epidemic Diseases Research Group (ERGO), Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford 

Catrin Moore is the Head of Operations working in the Epidemic diseases Research Group Oxford (ERGO) in the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health. After completing my DPhil in Tropical Medicine in 2002 I worked as a post-doc with Prof Andrew Pollard before moving to South East Asia where I was the Director for Research at the microbiology laboratory in the Laos Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (LOMWRU) for four years, then I moved to be the senior microbiologist at the Cambodia Oxford Research Unit (COMRU, based at the Angkor Hospital for Children). I returned to Oxford and took a position as a post-doc working for Prof Derrick Crook where I completed a distance learning global Masters in Business Administration (MBA). In 2015, at the height of the Ebola outbreak I joined ERGO where I have oversight of the project portfolio. I am involved in the preparation and oversight of contracts, budgets, grant writing and preparation, HR, communications, public engagement, internal and external collaborations.                                                                           


John Peden started his research career as a conventional wet lab scientist but discovered his passion was the analyze of experimental data. So, he started a computational Ph. D with Prof. Paul Sharp in the Genetics Department of Trinity College Dublin, later moving with Paul to the University of Nottingham. His research thesis focused on investigating the influences of selection biases on the choice of codons within highly expressed genes.

He originally planned to follow a conventional post-doc career path with the ultimate aim to move into an industrial position but in 1995 chose to take up the offer of a position at Oxford University Computing Service in their bioinformatics support service. Three years later he joined Doug Higgs, at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, where he supported the efforts to complete the assembly of the Alpha Haemoglobin locus on chromosome 16p. This was before the first human genome assembly was published and there were commercial products from Celera Corporation and Incyte Genomics which were not available within the academic environment but Oxagen Ltd, a spin-out from the WTCHG, was a subscriber. So, in 2000 he joined Oxagen Ltd where he learnt about the excitement and risks of working for a start-up.

One of the collaborative projects he worked on at Oxagen Ltd was PROCARDIS, and three years later when returned to work in academia it was as PROCARDIS Project Manager with Prof. Hugh Watkins at the Dept. of Cardiology, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford. However, he missed the excitement and focus of industry and in 2011 was tempted back by Illumina Inc. and he is now based in Essex where he works in the Population and Medical Genomics group with David Bentley. He works with external collaborators on projects including the University of Cambridge BRIDGE projects, Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme Two, and the Genomics England 100K projects.