A flow cytometrist by training, Angeli Ambayya recently decided to pursue a PhD at Universiti Sains Malaysia in genetics, a field in which she had little previous background. She took HMX Pro Genetics courses to enhance her knowledge and aid in her research projects on using next generation sequencing technologies to help patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
How challenging did the courses feel, as someone relatively new to genetics?
[I appreciated] the way that the materials were raised, because they started from the very basic concepts, like DNA sequences, and then moved on to advanced material. So, we had a very good fundamental knowledge of DNA sequencing and so on, and then moved on to precision oncology. There was a very good arrangement of the lessons; the structure of the course was really good. So, you really have a good grasp of the fundamentals, as well, and the examples that were given by Dr. Christine [DeGennaro] were really useful.
What aspects of the courses did you find particularly useful for your learning?
The clinical validity, the clinical interviews, really enhance the knowledge the way that they explain how they do the diagnoses, how the clinicians interact with each other. That was really useful for me.
And the moderators [in the discussion forums] were really helpful. Whenever I had questions that was out of topic, like for something that is related to my project, they tried their best to help…they were very helpful in answering, all the moderators very helpful in both modules. Their answers were very precise and clear. [They took] one or two days maximum to answer the question. And the way they answered made the whole thing, the complex question to be very simple. Rather than reading all these journals and so on, they provide a very detailed answer for a very complex method.
Had you taken other online courses before these?
This is the first time I actually took an online course. I usually travel for my courses. But this is the first time – due to the pandemic – I had to take online courses, which was much cheaper and very useful. It is actually equivalent to the ones that I travel and go to.
Did the courses meet your expectations of what you need to know for your research?
Actually, the course was more than my expectation. In fact, it covered more [than just] the things that I need to know for my project. So I find the courses really comprehensive.