In AMSI scholarship recipient
AMSI grant recipient profile: Daniel Mechtersheimer

Daniel Mechtersheimer

The University of Sydney

Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential applications or outcomes?

I’m interested in statistical mathematics and computational mathematics that can be used to model complex biological interactions. I’m focused mainly on omics data focused on the gut-brain axis using models ranging from regression to deep learning.

How did you get into the mathematical sciences/bioinformatics?

My degree prior to my honours was focused purely on quantitative fields but I have been working in the healthcare industry for the last four years. In my honours I wanted to combine these areas which bioinformatics is perfect for.

What advice would you give to your younger self or others wanting to studying the mathematical sciences?

Putting the effort into first- and second-year math courses is worth the reward in later years when you finally get to apply the theoretical aspects to real data.

What was your motivation for attending AMSI BioInfoSummer?

It’s a must in terms of networking and finding contacts for aspiring math and bioinformaticians. Coming from a quantitative background, it was extremely valuable to explore and learn about areas of biology beyond my domain that I am not knowledgeable of.

You received an AMSI BioInfoSummer travel grant to attend AMSI BioInfoSummer. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the week?

Without the grant I would not have been able to attend in person, accommodation was both close to the conference and the heart of Melbourne. Being so close was great as I had never been to Melbourne before so would have likely struggled a lot navigating the city and finding my way around.

What was your main take away from AMSI BioInfoSummer?

I made some great connections and found the workshops quite helpful. The Microbiome workshop was really helpful specifically for my domain but I also enjoyed the workshop about Spatial omics data.

Where do you want the mathematical sciences to take you? Where do you see yourself in five- or ten-years’ time?

I would like to have finished my PhD and have moved into a role either in academia or research where I can continue using my mathematical modelling skills

Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the travel grant or AMSI BioInfoSummer?

More interaction with speakers during their talks, I think getting to ask questions for clarification during talks would allow people to understand terminology or assumed knowledge as the further information will likely build on this