Sasi S Senga_MSc Alumni Profile

Programme: MSc Cancer & Therapeutics

Year of study: 2019-2020

Graduate education: Master of Neuroscience, Australian National University

Current role: Neurosurgical oncologist, Kalavathi Cancer Foundation

Sasi S Senga

What made you decide to study the MSc Cancer & Therapeutics programme at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London?

Following the loss of my mother to cancer, I was in a very tough spot in life. An opportunity to pursue the MSc Cancer & Therapeutics Programme as a UK Commonwealth Scholar gave me a pat on the back to move forward in life on a quest to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

What aspects did you enjoy most about the programme?

Throughout my career in medicine, I have been educated in Australia, the US, the UK, but my education at Queen Mary had a human touch! My mentors Professor Richard Grose, Dr Tony Ford and Professor Jude Fitzgibbon were exceptionally dedicated to the welfare of students. The faculty at Queen Mary are highly intellectual and the programme is brilliantly designed. It starts with basic cancer biology, pharmacology and rapidly delves into how the basic science is useful in designing therapeutics for cancer patients.

Can you describe your career path and touch on your current role?

I am an honor roll medical graduate with a Masters in Neuroscience and a Masters in Cancer & Therapeutics. I have also completed training in Neurosurgical Oncology. I presently run a cancer foundation to help treat cancer patients from underprivileged backgrounds and embarked on a doctoral quest to find new treatments for brain cancers at the University of Oxford as an Oxford Clarendon Scholar.

How do you think your MSc will help you with your current role / future career path?

The MSc Cancer & Therapeutics programme proved to be critical in shaping my life following my mother’s death. The level of information I learned at times had me flabbergasted. It helped me to publish with the Royal Society and receive appreciation from great cancer researchers, and gave me the confidence to successfully face a panel of more than 50 interviewers simultaneously. I hope to make my teachers at Barts Cancer Institute proud by making a commendable impact in the field of cancer therapeutics in the years to come.

I am grateful to Her Majesty The Queen for providing me with such a tremendous opportunity to be educated at the Barts Cancer Institute and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London, for her kind motivation following my graduation from Queen Mary.

Do you have any advice for prospective students who are considering this course?

Regardless of your background in medicine or science, if you have a strong passion for learning about cancer therapeutics, you should definitely take this course. The course provides access to world-class researchers and almost every peer-review journal, so if you have a determination to learn then you can get the most out of it.

Having been to both the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Barts Cancer Institute, I strongly recommend this course as I believe it will help equip you to face the top institutions across the globe and deliver a stellar performance.