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Career Insights: Interview

Join the live online podcast recording to learn about the careers of two PhD graduates or former postdocs now working in and out of academia.

Past Event

June 24, 2022
11:30 - 12:30


This event has been organised by the PDC Representatives' Network as part of a series of live online podcast recordings. In this career insights session, our Rep committee member, Dr Claire Tonry will be joined by guests, Dr Sheila McCartan from Exploristics and Dr Kyle Matchett from Ulster University.

Both guests will be interviewed by Claire, who will ask them questions about their roles, careers, experience of working in and out of academia and tips for postdocs and PhD candidates who are planning their careers etc.

The conversations will be recorded with the intention of converting them to episodes of the PDC's podcast, "The theory of the postdoc evolution".

We advise interested parties to attend the recording live in the event that any technical issues arise that may prevent us from using the recording. Attendees will be able to see our guests and use the chat function to suggest questions.


This recording is open to anyone who is interested in attending, including those external to Queen's University Belfast, postdocs and PhD candidates!

Our Guests


Dr Sheila McCartan

Data Strategy Team Lead


Dr Sheila McCartan leads the Data Strategy team at Exploristics and has an extensive background in medical research, with specific experience in molecular disease pathology specifically autoimmunity, infection and immunity, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease in human, animal, and in vitro models.

Through post-doctoral positions at the University of Oxford and Queen’s University, Belfast, she employed molecular biology laboratory skills for clinical trial sample processing and upskilled in R-programming for the development of analytical pipelines for interrogation of multi-parameter, high-dimensional data from clinical trials with regards to biomarker discovery and individual response to therapy.

At Exploristics, she is privileged to lead a skilled team of data scientists in the development of clinical trial disease models, derived from clinical trial and real-world data, to inform KerusCloud simulations and virtual cohort generation. Her Data Strategy team work closely with the Strategic Consulting, and Product Development teams to support client projects and to research innovative ways to inform and enhance clinical trial design.

Dr Kyle Matchett 

Ulster University


Dr Kyle Matchett is a Lecturer in Molecular Immunology and Principal Investigator (PI) at the School of Medicine, Ulster University. Dr Matchett’s research is focused on understanding the molecular pathways that are perturbed by pathogenic drivers in childhood and adult acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and targeting these using both synthetic lethality and rational drug strategies. To do this, his lab utilises a range of genomic, molecular and biochemical approaches, including CRISPR-Cas9 engineering, high-throughput drug screening and advanced transgenic/PDX models. Dr Matchett has been awarded >£1M in funding as PI since joining Ulster in October 2018, including grants from Novartis, Little Princess Trust and Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group. He is a PI on the recent €4M Strand III Higher Education Academy (HEA) North-South Award to the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI), where he is a Steering Committee member. Furthermore, he has funded grants with collaborators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, and University College Dublin (UCD). Dr Matchett published 17 papers in the recent REF2021 reporting period, including publication in internationally recognised journals, such as PNAS, Cancer Research, Stem Cells, Oncogene and British Journal of Haematology. His research has been recognised by a number of awards, including both the Faulty and Overall Champion Early Career Research Excellence Prizes by Ulster University (2019), Novartis Fellowship and Medal Award (2017) and the inaugural Prof John Fitzpatrick Prize by the Irish Association for Cancer Research (IACR) (2015). Dr Matchett sits on the Research Advisory Board for a leading UK funder, is a member of the IACR Senior Council and is currently leading the Early Career Research Strategy Group at Ulster University as part of developing the new institutional strategy.

Dr Matchett teaches on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Ulster University, across multiple modules. He is Course Director on the MBiolSci/MBiomedSci degrees, in collaboration with Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and is Module Coordinator on four modules, including two with a specific research focus. Dr Matchett has a keen interest in leadership and supervision in higher education and has published the results of a School-wide study in this area. He completed his PGCHET in 2014 and was awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education in 2015.

Prior to joining Ulster University, Dr Matchett completed his PhD and postdoctoral training at Queen's University Belfast, funded by Cancer Research UK, EU FP7 and Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI. His EU FP7 post involved collaboration and extensive travel with partner laboratories in Madrid, Innsbruck, Tel-Aviv, Vienna, Munich and Zurich. During this time, Dr Matchett played a key role in the development of novel EPO receptor antibodies with industrial partners Aldevron (Germany). He also led his own research which resulted in several publications.


Event type
Postdoctoral Development Centre
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Name Postdoctoral Development Centre