I could not believe how quickly my last week at the PHG Foundation arrived, and that it was already time to wrap-up up my project. I spent the beginning of the week implementing the last corrections and feedback for the briefing note, which will be published on the PHG Foundation website. I will be one of the authors on the publication, and before the briefing note can be accessed on the website it will be converted into a very smart format, similar to that of other briefing notes, by the communications team. It will be very exciting to see the final document!
Week three has been very busy, energetic and time to get things done. Primarily this included reviewing and acting on the comments and feedback I received, by looking into further resources and carefully analysing and interpreting the evidence surrounding the potential use of circulating tumour DNA in the clinic. Some of the resources I have consulted whilst researching and writing the policy briefing have included academic papers, the NICE guidelines, resources from learned-societies and medical/science news-feeds.
One of the most exciting parts of the internship has been the ‘horizon-scanning’ activities, where I am learning about all the fascinating advances that are being made at the forefront of science.
The second week of my internship saw me taking my research project into more depth, gaining a better understanding of the other projects and roles within the foundation and arranging meetings for next week.
At the beginning of the week I sat down with my supervisor for a quick debrief and feedback session on the working draft of my briefing note. We primarily discussed my progress on the project and the evidence surrounding use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), a new cancer testing approach, and the issues around its potential application in the clinic. It was very helpful to gain feedback at this stage, agree on areas for more in-depth research and identify experts we may want to approach for further information.
On a hot British summer day, my first week at the PHG Foundation draws to a close, and I have many first impressions to share. The PHG Foundation is a Cambridge-based science and health policy think-tank, with the mission to bridge the gap between science and its practical implementation in society. My internship started with introductions to all the members of the team, and immediately I was made to feel very welcome in the friendly office atmosphere. From day-one, my expectations were confirmed, in that there is a lot to learn from the dynamic, multi-disciplinary team, which includes experts from the fields of genomics, medicine, epidemiology, public health, law and economics.