Zimbabwe-born girl graduates in Personalised Medicine in Ireland, eyes Oxford Masters

Melville Nyatondo
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Melville, originally from Zimbabwe, moved to Luton in 2007 at the age of seven. She later pursued a degree in Clinical Sciences and Medicine at Bradford University, where she developed a keen interest in research.

While working on a project about therapeutic advances in pancreatic cancer, she realized her passion for research and decided that she didn’t want to become a medical doctor.

During her search for personalized and precision medicine information, she came across an advertisement for a degree in Personalised Medicine at Ulster University. Intrigued by the course, she took a leap of faith, applied, and moved to Derry in 2019 to pursue her studies.

Melville describes the move as a significant challenge, citing the cultural differences and the cold weather as surprising aspects. However, she embraced the advice to make the most of her environment and got involved in university life.

Throughout her academic journey, Melville has actively pursued her interests and pushed herself beyond her comfort zone. She held positions such as Vice President of the Christian Union, Course Representative, and Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME+) Network Student Representative.

She also participated in the Global Leadership Experience program in Johannesburg, South Africa. Additionally, she presented posters at conferences and completed placements and internships in various research settings, including Randox and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

Melville’s future plans include a summer internship at the Francis Crick Institute in the Biological Research Facility and pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Cancer Sciences at Oxford University. She aims to inspire and encourage women and individuals from BAME communities to pursue their passions and careers in their desired fields.

Additionally, she has a long-term goal of making personalized medicine more accessible in Africa, her home continent, just as it is in the Western world.

Melville’s journey showcases her determination to excel in the field of research and her desire to contribute to improving healthcare and accessibility to personalized medicine, particularly in Africa.