Tiffany Timbers bio photo

Tiffany Timbers

#datascientist #teacher #genomicist #neuroscientist #jackofalltrades #masterofafew

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I have officially finished my postdoc in the Michel Leroux’s lab at Simon Fraser University and started my new job as a Teaching Fellow in at the University of British Columbia’s new Master’s of Data Science (MDS) program. This is a exciting and reflectful (if that’s a word) time for me. I am ecstatic about my new role in the MDS program, specifically being able to be a core team member involved in developing this brand new and cutting edge program from the ground up. For more info on the MDS program, checkout the fancy website: http://mds.science.ubc.ca/.

I am still in a bit of disbelief that I have moved on from my postdoc. I spent 4 years working with an absolutely awesome supervisor, Michel, and a group of absolutely awesome colleagues (Victor Jensen, Catrina Loucks, Kwangjin Park, Swetha Mohan, Chrisitine Kondratev & Chunmei Li, just to name a few!). In Michel’s lab, I was focused on identifying new genes critical for ciliated sensory neuron development and function. Cilia are cellular organelles, which act as sensory antennae to sense the cell’s external environment. In my time as a postdoc I was exposed to cool new time-lapse imaging techniques to visualize transport of proteins within the cilia, performed my first large-scale genetic screen in collaboration with Don Moerman’s lab, taught myself how to perform genome-wide/rare-variant association analysis with whole-genome sequence data, and many other things. After only leaving my postdoc a few days ago, I am looking back at this experience with rose-coloured glasses. I can’t believe how much I learned in the last four years.

Lifelong learning is something that I aspire to, and being a postdoc really provides you with an exceptional opportunity to focus on that. I leave the Leroux lab with the inspiration that no matter what I am doing, I am able to integrate this into my life. I hope to continue to collaborate with them in a computational role to finish projects we didn’t have a chance to wrap up before I left, and to help them identify and explore cilia-related phenomenon with their, and other public datasets.

My next blog post will be a forward looking reflection to my new position, and my near-term goals in that role.