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Inside Look: A Computational Data Scientist Internship at Bactobio

7 April 2024

Bactobio Internship: A Data Scientist’s View

Earlier this year, Jamie Lee joined Bactobio as an intern in the Computational Science team. We recently caught up with Jamie to discuss her experiences at Bactobio and her thoughts on the internship.

Jamie Lee is a final-year PhD student in computational biology at Imperial College London, affiliated with the Centre for Doctoral Training in Bio-design Engineering. Her research focuses on the role of the skin microbiome in eczema, for which she develops computational models of host-microbiome interactions. Jamie spent three months with Bactobio’s data science team as part of her PhD, working on various projects across the scientific team.

What made you choose Bactobio?

I chose Bactobio to gain industry experience at a microbiology startup. Bactobio stood out as a young, dynamic company employing novel methods to discover new antibiotics. I was particularly drawn to learning about the data science techniques they use to analyse complex microbial communities, which align well with my academic background.

What have you been working on during your time here?

As a data science intern at Bactobio, I worked closely with the media screen team to identify experimental conditions that enhance the growth of novel microbes using machine learning techniques. This experience provided a fresh perspective on my PhD focus on the microbiome and was an exciting opportunity to delve into machine learning applications for microbiome data analysis. My daily responsibilities involved exploratory research, where I used deep learning to model microbial communities, and routine data analysis, which helped guide experimental design.

I gained valuable experience contributing to a collaborative codebase, exploring innovative data analysis methods, and understanding how data-driven insights can shape the design of wet lab experiments.

Jamie actively participated in multiple projects across various teams at Bactobio.

What have you enjoyed the most about the experience?

Collaboration is an integral cornerstone of the company's culture. My time here at Bactobio was an incredible opportunity to collaborate with researchers who are not only experts in their respective fields but also exceptionally welcoming and supportive from the outset. My team provided me with a platform to engage in projects alongside scientists from diverse backgrounds, which has helped me to enhance my data science skills and deepen my understanding of biology.

What has been the biggest takeaway from your experience here?

Interning at Bactobio allowed me to immerse myself in a multidisciplinary environment where I could learn from experts across various scientific fields. This experience broadened my understanding of the critical role interdisciplinary collaboration plays in advancing scientific breakthroughs. It highlighted how effectively teams with diverse specialities can work together towards a common company mission.

Any advice to future interns?

Immerse yourself fully in the dynamic and fast-moving environment at Bactobio. It’s a place filled with welcoming and experienced individuals. Engaging with as much of the company as possible is an excellent way to learn and grow, both professionally and personally.

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