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Personal Statement - "I think of modern biotechnology and I get excited."

Zabriskie 1 / -  
Dec 12, 2011   #1
I would be very grateful if someone could look over my personal statement and give any advice they deem pertinent. All the best and many thanks in advance!

- There were no prompts other than to keep it to one page long.


Personal Statement
To me, true happiness is having a field of action where you can put your best capabilities to work and have a real effect on the world. It is creating value in an environment where the visceral experience of success and failure still exists because what you do can change the world. It is about marrying your passions with your productivity and creating something of real importance.

This is why when, as a biologist interested in complex disease mechanisms, I think of modern biotechnology and I get excited: I see an opportunity for small but dedicated groups of people to have a major effect on the world. To me modern biotechnology is about bridging the gap between scientists and the practical application of their ideas. The degree with which biotechnology is successful in achieving this union will determine the impact of biopharmaceuticals on world health.

With this in mind, I feel there is a huge potential for gene therapy to enable scientists in this manner. Creating a safe, easy to manipulate and effective gene therapy vector alongside a truly practical manufacturing process would unleash the potential for biological scientists to translate their research into working treatments using ideas they are already familiar with. Specifically, I'm interested in working with clinicians to develop the safety and efficacy of a Lentivirus plasmid construct, developing a packaging/producer cell line capable of high titres and to develop a manufacturing process with a view to scaling-up.

This is why I am applying for the YYYstudentship at XXX. The programme's focus on translational research and interaction with clinicians, alongside the opportunity to work with Dr B. Anon are hugely attractive factors. Additionally, I feel that I have a strong skill set and experience that matches well with what Dr Anon would require from a PhD student working on his project (development of HIV-based lentiviral vectors for clinical gene therapy.)

I have experience leading my own project work developed throughout two four-month lab placements I completed during my Masters at labs in XXX and YYY. I'm able to design, execute and analyse my work independently, whilst working with my supervisor and other colleges to ensure we're hitting the targets and deadlines our lab sets for ourselves. I'm able to communicate well with other lab members through formal presentations and lab meetings.

Uniquely, I have experience working with 293T packaging and producer cell lines to produce EIAV gene therapy vectors from my independently obtained four-month internship at ZZZ. I maintained our 293T cells under GLP conditions, transfected 293T cells with EIAV vector plasmids and screened 293T cells for vector production capabilities. Additionally, my work at ZZZhas given me a solid grounding in the theory behind the Lentivirus replication cycle and the design of gene therapy vectors.

I know my passion for success and interest in this area will contribute a lot of value to XXX. I hope I have the opportunity to prove myself and undertake this groundbreaking research. I greatly appreciate the time spent reviewing my application and I hope you give me the opportunity to pursue my goals at XXX.

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