The Finale

Posted in: Courses, project/thesis, Recap on 6 June, 2018 by Karolos

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Last week marked the end of the master’s program Experimental & Medical Biosciences. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were filled with our thesis presentations and many interesting discussions. Same as the first year project, we present to an audience and we have 2 student opponents, an expert reviewer and an examiner (the student mentor). Both my presentation and my oppositions went very well, so it was a huge relief. Now, there only some corrections need to be done, before submitting the final version of the thesis and be officially finished, but that’s some minor stuff. A few thoughts about the program:

 

Overall I am very  pleased with the entire program. Would definitely recommend it. What I liked when i first saw the program was it is a general master, covering multiple subjects (immunology, neurobiology, microbiology – all these can make a specific, individual master) and at the same time specific, since we get to do our thesis and a project in a very focused area, alongside with very good researchers. A very brief recap on the schedule I took and the things i remember:

Laboratory techniques: Basic course, I liked that we had to design our own experimental plan.

Analytical techniques: It’s one of those things that you just have to go through.

I then did my 1st year project in an epigenetics group. I didnt have the slightest idea about what epigenetics is and truth to be told, I just ended up in this group, which turned out to be the best part of the master’s. I learned and I’m still learning (since I’ll be staying for a while) a ton of stuff and got to work with cut of the edge lab techniques (hint: read my thesis title below). In addition, a small part of my project ended up as a teeny-tiny contribution to a very big paper that our group is publishing now (Nature Methods, on July). I also got to stay during the summer in the group, with a scholarship by the pediatrics department.

Neurobiology: I honestly can’t remember much about it. Just a few really good lecturers, why meths works better than heroin and that I decided neurobiology is not for me.

Infectious biology: One my favorites. I always liked microbiology and this course was not disappointing. Good lecturers also!

The 2nd year started with

Stem cells: Probably my favorite course, with really,  really good lecturers from LiU and other swedish unis. I also liked the assignments, where we had to come up with experimental stell-cell based  treatments for some diseases. The exam was a bit tricky, but hopefully it will be improved next year.

Virology: Although I like virology, this is very focused on the molecular level and has almost nothing to do with clinical stuff. Which is kinda expected, since the course title is “Molecular Virology”. I did learn a lot of new stuff, but it just didn’t feel exciting. I have to give props to the course coordinator though; I would give the award for “best organized course of the program (in terms of scheduling etc), plus we had a ton of invited lectures from all across Sweden, which is really cool because a) they were experts in the field b) you can make new connections.

Immunology: Toughest course I took, but very interesting. Due to high number of students the lab work was very meh, but still interesting. Moment to remember: From  all the groups that did the lab (can’t remember how many, but not a lot), it was only my group that identified correctly the allergic patients!

Animal course: A lot of basic and interesting stuff about handling animals. We also get to handle the rats and mice from the animal facility an practice some techniques [on a voluntary basis]. Moment to remember: The course coordinators laugh when a student read a part of our report that had something like “In case of emergency, the veterinarian will be called and euthanized” and reminded us not to kill the veterinarian.

Thesis: I did it in the same group as my project, so the same things apply. In short, we successfully generated  knockout cell line, using CRISPR-Cas9. I will also be staying again for the summer (and maybe more) with the same scholarship as last year, and we’ll see what will come next!

I think an interesting question would be what happens to the graduates of the program after it has ended? Well, to start with, we were about 30 people in the program. I haven’t talked with most of them about the next part, but from the people that I spoke with:

  •  3 people will be continuing as PhDs in the university
  • 2 people found a job in the industry
  • A few people have found at least summer jobs, some of them in the groups where they did their thesis.
  • 2 persons haven’t found something yet

 

Best of luck to all new and prospective students!

 

 

 

During my thesis presentation, entitled                                                                  “A CRISPR-Cas9 engineered isoform specific TET1 knockout cell line for investigation the role of TET1 in T-cell biology

 

 


 

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Posted in: Everyday on 30 May, 2018 by Karolos

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A new Greek restaurant opened about a month ago in downtown Linkoping, which serves Gyros and Souvlaki. Both of these are very very common types of fast food that I absolutely miss from Greece. Of course I had to try it out and I was not disappointed; we ate so much we couldn’t move afterwards. Hopefully this place will do good business so I can keep going there every now and then.

 

 

                                 “Gyros”

                           “Souvlaki*”

 

*The difference is in the meat that’s wrapped inside.


 

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Exercising Outdoors

Posted in: Everyday on 27 May, 2018 by Karolos

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I’ve written before about the exercise parks I have discovered around Linkoping. They are very close to where I

live by bicycle, however i’m too lazy to walk there, which is a problem noways because my bicycle got stolen. Since the weather has been really good lately, I’d much rather workout outdoors than the windowless gym in the basement of campus US.  Luckily in the park that where I usually chill, I’ve located the perfect tree with branches that resemble a proper pull up bar. Combining that with a 3$ judo belt, I can pretty much do everything I want there, with the bonus benefit of chilling on the hammocks afterwards.


 

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~Thesis submitted~

Posted in: Courses, project/thesis on 27 May, 2018 by Karolos

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Those past couple of weeks have been rather stressful, as the time to submit the thesis was getting closer. The thesis format of our master’s is in a form of a paper; you chose your desired Journal, and make a manuscript according to their guidelines. I chose the Journal PNAS for one single reason: It has an online tool that creates a preview paper of your manuscript, simple by merging your text and your figures, and it looks totally professional. So after a lot of re-writing, formatting and caffeine, i finally submitted my thesis on Wednesdays  (only a few hours after the deadline had already passed).  I’m gonna be presenting next Wednesday, while I’ll also have to be oppose in two other thesis of fellow students, which mark the end of the master’s.


 

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Summer days !

Posted in: Everyday on 20 May, 2018 by Karolos

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This past couple of weeks (and hopefully the next to come!) have been surprisingly good for Sweden’s standards. And since we are far deep into spring and everything is fully bloomed, it feels like we are in a different country compared to winter Sweden! Nowadays, instead of people staying in their homes or going to coffee places,  all the parks are filled with people enjoying the sun. Plus the days are really long!

 

 

 

                                  This picture was taken at 21:15 o’clock!

 

 

 

 


 

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Karolos Douvlataniotis

Karolos Douvlataniotis
Hej! My name is Karolos and I come from the Land of Debts (sometimes referred to as Greece). Right now, I am studying Experimental and Medical Biosciences at LiU, while exploring life in Sweden. Here you will find info about the program, as well as see a student perspective about life in Linköping.

MSc in Experimental and Medical Biosciences

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