Alumni profile - Matt Fung

BMedSc Medical Science, 2005

NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre, Senior team member


There were lots of great aspects to the Medical Science degree. However, the best part of the course for me was my 3rd year project in cancer studies."

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I began work at the NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre as a Research Associate, working with drugs companies to write outputs for various national customers. In 2008 I was promoted to a senior team member which has involved much closer working with industry and customers within the NHS. Over the last few years, I have also gained experience in developing databases through my work at the NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre. Through this experience, I have been able to offer consultancy to other businesses to help with their databases and IT requirements.

What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?

I enjoy being able to work at a strategic level and using my strengths in creative ways. For example, prior knowledge from medical science, database development skills and leadership have led to me becoming the Co-Chair of a Department of Health and Industry collaboration, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I perceived Birmingham to be an excellent University and the Medical Science course looked interesting. I could also commute from home to save money on accommodation.

What did you think were the best points of the Medical Science degree at the University?

There are lots of great aspects to the Medical Science degree. However, the best part of the course for me was my 3rd year project in cancer studies. My project took many theoretical concepts, which I had learned in my previous years, and applied them in a practical way to an important piece of research. I also learned new skills in bioinformatics methodology and got to work with some interesting people. The University is a very pleasant place to study, my preference was a campus University so Birmingham was ideal.

What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

I would say…Have a plan for what you want to do with your degree. Ask yourself ‘do you want to pursue a career in academia (e.g. MSc/PhD), Medicine, Pharmaceutical Industry, or something entirely different’.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?  Did it change your life in any way?

Studying at University helped me pick up valuable life skills, particularly those which were to be of value to future employers such as giving presentations and working to tight deadlines. I think it is fair to say that if I hadn’t studied at University, my career options would have been vastly reduced.