Alumni Profile: Rytis Boreika

Rytis Boreika (MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases, 2019) is an Immunologist and Research Scientist at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. This blog post shares why they chose to study at LSHTM, their achievements since leaving and advice for current students.
Rytis Boreika

I chose to study at LSHTM because of its reputation, research publication impact rating, teaching quality and the selection of modules available to immunology students. The degree I completed allowed me to specialise in the immunology of infectious diseases and, because of the subject-specific knowledge I gained, I could directly apply theory into practice. Also the transferable skills that I improved during the course, such as analytical thinking, are particularly useful now in my current role.

During my studies at LSHTM, I formed relationships with different staff members at the school. These lecturers and research fellows introduced me to the wider scientific world, which allowed me to form bridges with other academic institutions both at a national and international level. Additionally, I formed links with industrial members of reputable companies such as GSK, which brought me closer to future work and collaboration opportunities.

Since leaving LSHTM, I have collaborated with a number of organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), where I consulted on various issues related to COVID-19. Additionally, I become a Research Associate at different organisations, including but not limited to Cambridge Innovation Research Centre and European Allergology Academy. Being a member allows me to contribute to worldwide projects and share knowledge between scientists.

I aim to apply my subject-specific knowledge to solve research problems allowing me to indirectly reduce patient burden. I hope to significantly contribute to our understanding of diseases and their pathogenesis by overcoming research challenges, so it will be easier to tackle global healthcare problems.

“COVID-19 has quite substantially affected my work at the clinics. Because of the worsening epidemiological situation, certain research tasks involving laboratory work have been suspended. Furthermore, less funding is available for further research projects, which caused delays in the project deadlines. On top of that, I occasionally had to work remotely, reducing the amount of time I spend in the laboratory.

“My advice for current students is that it is important first to understand yourself. This way, you will know what you want from the world around you. Know your path and goal, and as long as you maintain perseverance and determination, you will definitely reach your destination. Do not be afraid of setbacks; any failures will teach you to become a better person by giving you more confidence, maturity and being fully aware of the challenges life gives you. No matter how difficult the task seems to be, the answer to it is always there. Break down the big chunk of “troublesomeness” and divide the smaller bits into manageable tasks.”

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