Alumni profile - Matt Fung

BMedSc Medical Science, 2005

Matt worked at thre University of Birmingham for seven years in Public Health, and is now an ST5 Registrar in Public Health. 

What are your career experiences since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I worked at the University of Birmingham in Public Health for 7 years as a research associate, then research fellow in Horizon Scanning. This involved working with pharmaceutical companies, leading a team, development and implementation of information and intelligence systems, working at a national level with the Department of Health and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). In 2013, I began specialty training in public health on the West Midlands training scheme.

What is your current role and what does it involve?

I am currently an ST5 Registrar in Public Health. My role involves working across organisations, including Sandwell Council Public Health, Sandwell & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust. I lead on various portfolios of work including a strategy to reduce infant mortality, information and intelligence development and developing a public health plan for the acute trust.

What do you love the most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?

The thing that I love the most about my job is the flexibility to work in different organisations and on wide ranging projects and portfolios. I get to engage with a huge number of professionals and experts on a daily basis which I really value.

The biggest challenge is the scale of problems faced in Sandwell (which is a very deprived area). We have some of the highest rates of infant death and stillbirths in the country, and also very high rates of obesity, for instance.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career? What subjects/ modules/ experiences did you find the most valuable?

My BMedSc degree provided the grounding and experience to help take my first steps towards my career in public health. The experience that I most valued was during my third year, particularly my research project undertaken in Cancer Research. This provided an environment in which I could really hone and use my skills in bioinformatics.

Why did you choose to study Biomedical Science at Birmingham?

I chose to study BMedSc as the range of modules looked interesting and broad – I didn’t want to narrow my career options too much as I was unclear about what I wanted to do long term at the age of 18. I also perceived Birmingham to be an excellent University and the Medical Science course looked interesting.

How would you sum up your time in Birmingham in three words?

Challenging, engaging, worthwhile

What inspired you most during your time as a student?

My 3rd year project inspired me the most during time as a student. I was able to participate in world-class research in identifying genes implicated in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma which was later published in the Journal of Pathology.

What advice would you give to people who are considering studying Biomedical Science at Birmingham?

My advice would be to try and plan what you want to do with your degree – don’t leave it too late before deciding. Talk to graduates, explore what the possibilities of having a BMedSc degree are. Try and shadow/intern at businesses/organisations of interest.