The bloggers | past & present

Kavan Gor: current programme blogger

Hello everyone, my name is Kavan Gor. I am a student of the joint programme of Molecular Techniques in Life Sciences. It is a multidisciplinary programme, where the aspects of both dry lab and wet lab are integrated.

 

The programme aims to develop individuals with skills to become independent researchers or take up jobs in related fields.

 

I hope to tell you more about my programme as I progress through it and try to give you an insight of what we learn and how it is useful and applicable to various fields.

 

But before that let me tell you something about myself.

 

I am from India. My hometown is the city of Mumbai. It is also known as the city of dreams. I am a native from the state of Gujarat. Just like most of the students studying biology in India, I have completed my Bachelors in Biotechnology from VIT University. While doing my bachelors, I participated in multiple co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

 

A group of friends and I established a branch of Biotech Research Society (BRSI) at our university. Apart from academics, I am much interested in Space sciences. I was a part of a non-profit organisation called the Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). As a member of this, I had opportunities directors of ISRO, organise observation astronomy sessions and teach and develop an interest in space among school children.

A shot of the our Milkyway Galaxy captured during one of the observational astronomy sessions by our team

I also love playing the Tabla (Indian classical percussion instrument). I attended a degree course of 5 years. Hoping to go back home some day and continue to get a Graduate degree in Tabla playing too.

                         Young me playing Tabla (right)                                                         Me with Tabla

 

Something about the programme

The master’s programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Sciences (MTLS) is a joint programme between KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institute (KI) and Stockholm University (SU). Each semester is in a different institute or organisation, starting at KI to SU and then to KTH.

 

As we are part of multiple institutes, our program also has a lot of nicknames like the ‘Ghost programme’ at KI; some students even refer to us as the weird master’s program. However, as it is an integrative effort of three educational institutions that are part of Scilife Labs, we are also referred to as ‘The Scilife Masters’.

 

The students of the MTLS are officially hosted by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology throughout our program.

 

The program is structured to offer the best from each institute. The first semester is at Karolinska Institute. Karolinska Institute is a well-known Medical University. Thus, during this semester we mainly have courses that are focusing on the translational aspects of the course.

 

Further, Stockholm University is basic Science oriented, and thus during our semester there we learn more about computational biology.

 

Finally, at KTH, which is known for technology and engineering, we learn about the various technical aspects and applications of what we have learned in the earlier semesters. Currently, I am about to finish my first semester at Karolinska Institute and go through the first transition between institutes.

I am looking forward to the programme and the Stockholm semester that will start in the month of January and to share the same with everyone here.

I will be happy to answer any questions about the programme or about the stay in Stockholm, Sweden. Alternatively, if you have any suggestions or want to know about something specific then please feel free to contact me by my email id: kavan@kth.se

 

Tianlin He: programme blogger 2016-2018

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!%e8%8d%8a%e5%b7%9e1

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!

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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!