DPhil in Statistics student
I am a final-year DPhil (PhD) student in Genomic Medicine and Statistics at the Department of Statistics and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, and a Graduate Scholar at Jesus College. My studies are generously funded by the Wellcome Trust. I am part of the research group of Prof. Simon Myers, who supervises my main DPhil project, and have as my second supervisor Prof. Pier Francesco Palamara, with whom I have worked on two smaller projects. My research interests are in statistical and population genetics. In my main DPhil project, I have developed a new statistical method to detect interactions between genetic mutations affecting human traits. Applying this novel approach to the UK Biobank, a large database containing detailed genetic and health information for 500,000 UK participants, has revealed previously unknown networks of interacting mutations along the genome impacting multiple traits. Several of these interactions appear to act through genes of known relevance to different diseases such as asthma or Alzheimer's, which suggests that our findings may help to shed light on the genetic basis of these diseases. This research may also enable better genetic-based quantitative modelling of physical traits and more accurate prediction of disease risk through improved 'polygenic scores'. I am from Portugal and began my university studies in Lisbon, where I did an undergraduate degree in Economics. This was followed by an MPhil, also in Economics, here in Oxford and, more recently, by an MSc in Statistics with Data Science in Edinburgh which enabled me to transition into statistical and biomedical research. In the past, I worked as a research assistant at the Department of Economics in Oxford and also in development economics research in Mozambique. I have also worked as a trainee in competition policy at the European Commission in Brussels and completed two internships in management consulting at McKinsey & Company in Portugal and Angola. Finally, I contribute to the teaching at the Department of Statistics as a class tutor and teaching assistant for a master's course in mathematical genetics led by Prof. Simon Myers.
- Statistical and population genetics
- Statistical modelling of the genetic basis of human traits and diseases
- Interactions between genetic mutations (epistasis)
- Genealogical inference and its applications to the modelling of population structure and the detection of genetic associations