Alumni Profile: Fernanda Morales Berstein

Fernanda Morales Berstein

Current job title and organisation

Welcome Trust PhD student in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology at the University of Bristol

Can you please tell us a bit about your current work/research?

The aim of my PhD is to uncover novel risk factors and molecular markers to improve the prevention and treatment of cancer. I am studying the associations between several lifestyle/biological risk factors and cancer using novel causal inference methods such as Mendelian randomization.

What course and year did you study at LSHTM?

Nutrition for Global Health, 2018-19

Why did you choose to study with LSHTM?

As a dietitian looking for opportunities to develop my research skills abroad, the MSc in Nutrition for Global Health seemed like a perfect fit. My aim was to gain the expertise needed to study the nutritional determinants of different types of cancer. This programme offered advanced training in nutrition, statistics and epidemiology.

Did you have to overcome any challenges to study with us?

Financially, it was difficult. I would often get free lunch from the Hare Krishna carts close to the university premises to stick to my limited budget. I also had to work while I studied to cover my living costs. This meant I didn’t have much time to study and work on my assignments. Despite the difficulties, I never missed a lesson and still managed to finish all my assignments. Looking back, I think it was all worth it. I developed multi-tasking and time-management skills, met wonderful people and made the most of my time in London. 

What were your favourite memories from your studies with us?

The multicultural environment, the brilliant lectures delivered by experts in their fields and the late nights in the computer rooms during assessment weeks. 

How has your LSHTM degree helped you in your career?

It introduced me to the exciting world of epidemiology and helped me develop data analysis skills that I still use today. It also led to a research assistant position and collaborations.

What would you like to achieve in future?

After my PhD, I would like to work in academia as an epidemiologist. My main goals are to contribute to cancer prevention and to improve causal inference in nutrition research. I would also like to get involved in policymaking and teaching.

Do you have any advice for students/recent graduates?

Make the most of your time at LSHTM by getting to know other students, asking questions in lectures and getting involved in extra-curricular activities offered through the university network.

Do you have any social handles (Twitter/Facebook Usernames) you would like us to use?

Twitter: @FMBerstein