Sophie Hackinger in our bioinformatics team discusses the reasons she joined Inivata – I wanted to build products that would have a direct impact on patients’ lives.

I started out with an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences, which was more wet lab focused. What really fascinated me about human biology was how the combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors interact to influence phenotypic traits. This is what ultimately attracted me to the field of complex disease genetics, which I focused on during my doctorate at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The switch to a computational PhD entailed a steep learning curve, but it was certainly worth it! I loved how bioinformatics allowed you to ask questions that could only be answered by churning through vast datasets of genetic sequences. After my PhD I was looking for opportunities to use the skills I had acquired to build products with a direct impact on patients’ lives. A move to industry was therefore the logical next step.

I was drawn to the collaborative and open culture

What drew me to Inivata was the opportunity to be exposed to different aspects of product development and to interact with people from various teams. I liked the collaborative and open atmosphere within the R&D team, which seemed to encourage creativity and stepping outside your comfort zone.

Each day at Inivata is exciting

A normal working day usually starts with me getting on my bike and cycling to the office – one of the perks of our location in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside! When everyone has arrived, I catch up with colleagues and discuss any upcoming meetings for the day. After a coffee I settle down in front of my screens and begin programming.

We usually have lunch together with people from across the company, which really contributes to the friendly atmosphere at Inivata.

The afternoons are often a mix of focused work and meetings, where we report on project progress, highlight any challenges and set timelines for the upcoming weeks. Even though we all have our own tasks, we work on the same overarching project(s), which makes for a very collaborative environment. There’s always someone to ask or bounce ideas off of if you’re stuck or need another perspective.

We get to work on dynamic projects at Inivata

I would say that anyone tempted to move to industry, but worried about the work being less creative or versatile, should definitely take the plunge! At Inivata the projects we work on are very dynamic and multidisciplinary. Since the ultimate goal is always to build a viable medical product using cutting-edge technology, everyone is extremely motivated and happy to share their expertise. This is not only incredibly rewarding, as you feel your input is genuinely valued and makes an impact, but also means you get to learn from some of the smartest people across the field.

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