Are you/do you know a student who wants to work on real-time projects in bioinformatics?  Curious to simplify the complex or predict the unpredictables of biology? Please consider this valuable training!

Pay It Forward Machine Learning Training Association is the brainchild of COLOSSUS PI Dr Anguraj Sadanandam from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), in London. Having seen machine learning, data science, genomics and bioinformatics evolve throughout the years to become a multidisciplinary field, one cannot simply learn it all. This is why Anguraj, along with other leaders in this field, aims to train curious and responsible students in specific areas of this stimulating field. An objective of Pay It Forward is that the trained students are then expected to train their peers and eventually stimulate a chain of training. Overall, the goal is to further develop tomorrow’s leaders in top-notch cancer research and data science.

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing world researchers together more than ever before, this training will take place remotely. This virtual training will enable selected students from all corners of the world to be on par with international standards. Trainers will ensure that undergraduate or postgraduate students undertaking the training will obtain hands-on research experience and be provided with an opportunity to work on real-time projects. With this initiative, Anguraj and his team aim to train tens, if not hundreds of students in various fields of machine learning, data science and bioinformatics, while also encourage students to work in this area throughout in their careers. The goal is to help students learn skills that make great bioinformaticians so that they go on to become leaders in research tomorrow.

If you are interested in joining the training group, please contact Dr Anguraj Sadanandam through the LinkedIn group. Group membership is only for selected trainees. The first group of students has already been selected and began training through the Sadanandam Lab at the Institute of Cancer Research, UK. More students will be selected in the coming years.

Current student Janki Insan describes her experience with the training:

I first learnt about the Pay It Forward Genomics and Machine Learning training program when I saw a post about it on LinkedIn, following which I contacted Dr Sadanandam for how I could apply to the program.

As a part of the program, I meet my mentors twice every week and discuss my progress and any issues I have been facing. We also chart out the work I have to do, and they answer any questions I have.

The training has been a wonderful experience for me because it has allowed me to work on real-time projects and experience what a research career is like. I have also been able to expand my understanding of the heterogeneous nature of cancer and how diseases stratification in gastrointestinal cancers plays an important role.

I’d say it is a fantastic opportunity for any student who wants to go into cancer research, learn bioinformatics, and work in precision medicine.

Aside from giving students a peek into what a research career looks like, course facilitators are also interested in training students from various disciplines in the specialized areas of cancer research and data science. The instructors welcome students from different disciplines including computer science, biology, engineering, statistics, machine learning or even economics. What really matters is the ability to bring new ideas/perspectives to the table. They want students who will share their learning from training with their peers. In addition, the Pay It Forward team urges other groups and teams to hire internationally.