You have certainly read from the sidebar of this blog, that my name is Tianlin He, and I am in the Joint Master’s Programme of Molecular Techniques in Life Science at KTH, Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University here in Stockholm. However, there are so many things that I would like to include but could not! Here, I will talk a little bit more about myself, hope that you enjoy reading it ^_^
What shall I begin with? I was born in Jingzhou, a historical town residing near the famous Yangtze River in the middle part of China. As a typical Jingzhouer, I am proud of my city: it lives vividly over 2000 years; it is the “reservoir of fish and rice” of China; it has the most ancient and well-preserved city wall in China!
Jingzhou after the first snow
After spending my childhood in Jingzhou, I immigrated with my parents to Hong Kong, which is praised as “the Pearl of Orient”. That is the most dramatic transition in my life: I now lived in a small apartment with my parents only; I studied in a new school whose teaching language is English and my classmates spoke Cantonese only; I had to learn how to write and type traditional Chinese from the very beginning……If Jingzhou nurtures my flesh and bones, Hong Kong shapes my spirit and mind. Today, I can proudly proclaim: I am Hong Konger, a heir of Hong Kong spirit: perseverance, optimism and solidarity.
Since I was a kid I loved watching documentaries about nature and animals, in high school my favorite subject was science. That’s why I know I should study life science, when I was admitted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012. Due to my abiding passion in research, I engaged myself in a number of research laboratories. Some of them yielded very positive results: for example, I participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine as a team member of my university and we finally won the gold medal!
My happy graduation from Molecular Biotechnology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
However, the more wet lab I did, the more doubts and uncertainty arises in my heart: in a wet lab, there can be hundred of results generated in a single day in the hands of a single researcher; however, most of them are wasted because the researcher himself does not have enough time or resources to interpret them. Is there a method, which enables us to handle the data in a more efficient and accurate way? Is there any approach, which allows us to simulate, or predict the results even before we perform the experiment? With these thoughts, I started browsing master programs in bioinformatics in the Internet.
But most of them are disappointing: they usually require a degree in computer science or bioinformatics. I still remember the euphoria, when I heard from an alumni of my university, now an assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet, the Joint Master’s Program in Molecular Techniques in Life Science. After reading the program’s webpage, I filed my application through www.universityadmissions.se (True, the convenience of the Swedish application system is another important reason, I will introduce it in another blog). At that time, it seemed to be a audacious decision: the master program is nascent with its first branch of students last year; and Sweden, although famous for Nobel Prize and the Royal Institute of Science, is portrayed as a barren land covered with ice and snow by many Hong Kongers (unfortunately, my parents included).
But after my arrival in Stockholm, all their doubts gasified: the weather is indeed temperate throughout the whole year (yes, even more temperate than Jingzhou), with comfortable humidity; the syllabus is exactly what I yearn for: it bridges between cutting edge biomedical researches, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical applications. Besides that, our class is a big and warm family: we study and prepare exams in groups, visit museums, parks, cinema and even travel together at the weekend.
A photo of me at KTH FACE in January 2017
Now, I am so happy to live and study in the brilliant place, and I look forward to more wonderful events in the coming two years!