Irene Jackson Sillah is pursuing an intercalated* degree at Churchill, studying for an MPhil in Genomic Medicine. She is the recipient of a Get in Cambridge Studentship which is awarded to a select number of students from under-represented backgrounds who demonstrate exceptional potential and dedication in their chosen field.

Irene’s story

I grew up in Ghana and moved to the UK when I was younger. I completed my A levels at King Edward VI Grammar school in Chelmsford, Essex. I have always been fascinated by science and enjoy caring for people, which led me to pursue a degree in medicine at the University of Liverpool. The experiences and knowledge I have gained thus far have only deepened my passion for the field and I am eager to continue learning and growing as a medical professional. 

I am particularly interested in personalised medicine, which is a growing movement in healthcare that moves away from the traditional ‘one-size fits all’ approach. I believe that this approach has the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes and I am eager to explore its potential further through my studies and future practice as a doctor. I have also always been fascinated by genetics and this interest was further developed during my time in medical school, where I gained a deeper understanding of its role in personalised medicine. The potential benefits of this field are immense and I am eager to contribute to its growth and development in the future.

Churchill College was my first choice as I was impressed with its focus on science, technology, and innovation. I was also drawn to its progressive and welcoming culture, as well as its on-site facilities that allow for a balanced student life. The gym, tennis courts, squash courts, and expansive fields provide opportunities for staying active, while the music centre allows for exploring new hobbies.

As a student at the College, I have been actively involved in several initiatives and organisations that align with my interests and goals. I am currently involved in the Medical iTeams, which has given me the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and tackle challenges in innovative ways. Additionally, I am engaging in the Churchill Enterprise Programme, which has provided me with valuable insights and skills for pursuing my entrepreneurial aspirations.

There have been several highlights during my time at Churchill College thus far, but two of the most memorable have been attending formals and being inspired by the calibre of speakers at the ‘Give Me Inspiration’ series. The formals have allowed me to connect with fellow students and create lasting memories, while the speakers associated with the series have been a source of inspiration and motivation for my future pursuits. The opportunity to interact with a diverse range of individuals and build connections with people from different backgrounds has been one of the things I have enjoyed most about life at Churchill College. This has allowed me to expand my horizons and gain a deeper understanding of different perspectives and cultures.

Irene at the Churchill Enterprise Programme launch

If you’re looking for a College that will offer you a supportive and empowering environment, where you can learn, grow, and achieve your dreams, Churchill College is the perfect place. With its focus on innovation and progress, Churchill is a place where you can be surrounded by motivated and driven individuals who will inspire you to reach your full potential. Whether you’re interested in science, technology, or entrepreneurship, you’ll find a vibrant and welcoming community of like-minded individuals at Churchill College.

After completing my intercalated degree in Cambridge, I plan to return to Liverpool to continue my medical education. I am eager to take what I have learned and apply it in my future practice as a doctor, where I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of others. I believe that this experience will shape me into a better practitioner, and I am excited to see what the future holds.

The Get in Cambridge Studentship

The Get in Cambridge Studentship is awarded to a select number of students from under-represented backgrounds who demonstrate exceptional potential and dedication in their chosen field. I was humbled and grateful to have been selected for this scholarship, which has allowed me to pursue my studies with greater financial stability and peace of mind.

Receiving the Studentship has been a tremendous source of pride and gratitude for me. This scholarship has enabled me to focus on my studies and pursue my passion for personalised medicine without the worry of financial strain. I am so grateful for this opportunity and am determined to make the most of it.

More info about the Get In programme at Cambridge:

Expansion of Get In programme aimed at under-represented students | University of Cambridge

* Intercalated degrees are an opportunity for medical students to complete another professional qualification whilst also completing their medicine degree