Student interviews

Jaakko Syrjälä: Characterization of brain functional connectivity with high temporal resolution non-invasive neuroimaging

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Vittorio Pizzella

University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Email: jaakko.j.syrjala (at) gmail.com

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I come from Finland. I did my Master’s degree in Biomechanics at University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

 

 

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

I have always been fascinated by the natural sciences and the way the human body works. It amazes me how the nature can be so logical and simple yet at the same time so incredibly complex. Speaking about complex, the human brain is arguably the most complex machinery that you can find in the nature, so, for me, cracking the mystery of how human brain works is the ultimate challenge.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

Within the BioMep project I work under the multimodal neuroimaging research area. The millions of neurons in our brain communicate by sending “electric signals” (action potentials) to each other. The action potentials are triggered when the neurons reach certain level of excitement. In other words, tiny currents are generated in our brains all the time. These tiny currents (or magnetic fields generated by the currents) can be measured outside the brain with sophisticated devices such as Magnetoencephalography (MEG). With MEG we can measure fluctuating signals (brain oscillations). It is proposed (and to some extent established) that neural communication between distant brain areas is enhanced when these brain oscillations synchronize. My research project focus on studying the synchronization of these brain oscillations and specifically, what is the role of phase synchronization in working memory.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

I found a research area that I was interested in and the interdisciplinary aspect of the program was intriguing. It seemed that this program has everything (from world-class experts to great resources) for me to develop myself into expert in the field.

5. What have you achieved so far?

Taking a leap to a new field of research first required a lot of effort to build up the fundamental knowledge and skills. Since the first “introduction/preparation” phase I have been work with my research project. Currently I am finishing article of my first study. In my first study I have relied on working memory data collected by Human Connectome Project (https://www.humanconnectome.org/). I have analyzed the phase synchronization patterns during two working memory task conditions with a novel multivariate phase synchronization metric called MPSI. After this I have applied machine learning algorithm in order to decode the two different working memory conditions. The results support the proposed role of phase synchronization as a key element in working memory processing.

6.What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills and to grow as a researcher for which the programme has provided excellent opportunity. On top of that, we have really excellent group of students and supervisors that I have been honored to learn to know.

7. What are your future goals?

Short term goal is to finish the first study and publish an article in a reputable scientific journal. The ultimate goal for me is to conduct high quality basic research with potential influence on practical applications like therapeutical protocols. If my research helps to advance our knowledge of brain function, I consider that I have achieved my goal. In more general terms, the goal is to provide something for the society and grow as a researcher in the process.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

I want to say that you should apply. These programmes offer unique platform for you to grow as a scientist/an expert with excellent resources in an interdisciplinary and international environment. You will meet interesting people from different backgrounds and develop valuable skills needed in every field (for example communication/networking skills). I would also like to emphasize that don’t hesitate to apply even for something that you don’t have so much experience beforehand… I didn’t and it worked out pretty well for me.

Vahid Farrahi: Large Cohort Analysis on the Association Between Daily Activity and Health

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Timo Jämsä

University of  Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Email: vahid.farrahi (at) oulu.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I come from Iran. I completed my Master's degree in information technology with special focus on computer networks at Shiraz University of Technology in Iran. I have a background in real world applications of data mining and machine learning algorithms.

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

During my Master's studies, I was highly motivated in interdisciplinary research areas. Thus, considering my previous background, I found the emerging area predictive models for public health problems very fascinating. To deliver better healthcare to general populations, I extended my research interests to the interesting area of predictive machine learning methods with public health applications.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

We all know that physical activity is beneficial to our health. So far, previous research has also shown that physical activity positively associates with various health outcomes such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases. Recently, the new sensor technology and accelerometer-based activity monitors have allowed us to monitor physical activity behavior objectively, which has also provided analytical challenges for quantifying the signals into different measures of physical activity. Currently, my focus is on developing reliable methods for quantifying acceleration signals into measures of physical activity. However, the ultimate goal is the analysis of Northern Finland Birth Cohort on the association between daily activity and health.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

At the first glance, the environment seemed highly collaborative and multidisciplinary. Thus, the most important reason why I applied for BioMEP programme was the collaboration between multiple leading universities and research teams. This means that the programme has provided us a wide variety of resources to conduct high quality research.

5. What have you achieved so far?

So far, I have systematically reviewed the existing machine learning-based analytical approaches for quantifying acceleration signals (to be submitted soon to a highly qualified journal). Meanwhile, I have collaborated with one of my colleagues who is studying the patterns of physical activity and its association with cardiovascular disease risk (submitted). Based on the results of the review, I have also developed machine learning-based models for quantification acceleration data, which is still in the preliminary phase.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

The most exciting side of my research is providing guidelines for public health. The new guidelines are usually appreciated by both general population and experts, which makes my PhD work very fascinating.

7. What are your future goals?

My future plan is to continue my research career in a high quality environment. I do believe that the experiences that I have gained so far and will gain during the following years will lead me to fulfill my desires.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

These programmes are great chances for talented students who are seeking for potential environment to continue their research. The research teams that are part of these doctoral programmes are well-known research groups. This means that being involved with these programmes allow for both continuing research and make your future desiring career.

Ruhunur Özdemir: Exact localization of electrodes in deep brain stimulation

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Hannu Eskola

Tampere University, Tampere, Finland

Email: ruhunur.ozdemir (at) tuni.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I am from Giresun, Turkey. I majored in Computer Engineering at The Department of Computer Engineering, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul and I achieved my Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering, The Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Fatih University, Istanbul. After I earned the degree of bachelor of science, I occupied a software engineering position in The Ministry of Health (Istanbul, Turkey). Afterwards I was granted an internship scholarship in Eindhoven University of Technology by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Turkey). Meanwhile I finished my master’s degree. Subsequently, I conducted researched-based studies in Neural Engineering and Data Mining, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

Even though computer science/engineering or biomedical science/engineering may not be considered as one of natural science majors in a traditional aspect, every advanced majors have been erected by natural sciences thus these majors include several branches of science such as physics, mathematics, and chemistry.Personally, I am always interested in physics however; I wanted to interrelate physics with the real world so I ended up with being an engineer.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

My research subject is to reveal a structural and functional pattern of anterior nucleus of thalamus based on the connectivity approach of diffusion weighted-MRI (DW-MRI) analysis in order to facilitate the implantation of the electrodes in deep brain stimulation surgery for epileptic patients.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

The BioMEP doctoral program provides a firm foundation for researchers who are willing to work on an interdisciplinary area and associates the research hospitals and the biomedical engineers to furnish cutting-edge solutions/approaches regarding the clinical applications. The future belongs to people who are able to combine many disciplines under the one roof thus, for a person like myself who possesses a diverse background the program is a great prospect in order to deepen my knowledge involving with the real clinical applications.

5. What have you achieved so far?

Deep brain stimulation electrodes have been implanted in 30 patients so far. The clinical outcomes have been studied for 5 years. We have acquired DW-MRI from 12 patients. Currently, we are improving the DW-MRI sequences corresponding HARDI parameters in order to acquire better images from the patients since the new 64-channel RF coil has been recently received. I also had an opportunity to observe complete deep brain surgery procedure with attending the surgery as well as participating pre-planning steps in the operation room. I have attended several trainings at Tampere University Hospital regarding MRI in clinical applications. I have also presented a poster in June, IUPESM 2018 World Congress on medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering in Prague, Czech Republic.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

I always enjoy learning new things and applying my knowledge to real obstacles so every moment that I have been spending for my work is enjoyable to me. If I should be more specific, I think the most enjoyable moments are brainstorming with colleagues over clinical applications.

7. What are your future goals?

My imminent goal after finishing PhD is to have a postdoc position either an industrial company or prestigious research institute/university. Ultimately, I would like to be an academic who widens the understanding of the students on how to associate the information, which they learn in the technical university with the real world as a professional.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

I think everyone would appreciate that Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programs are very respectable establishments across the world and a great stepping-stone especially for the academic career of a first stage researcher, so people should thoroughly look up the advertisements and consider applying for the positions for the sake of their future.
Lingwei Huang: Subchondral bone modifications in anterior cruciate ligament transection rabbit model of early osteoarthritis

 

Primary supervisor: Mikko Finnilä, PhD

University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

Email: lingwei.huang (at) uef.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I come from China. My previous work mainly focused on biomechanics and biomedical engineering. The work included designing loading equipment, axial loading of tibia in vivo, bone strain measurement using strain gauge, mechanical testing of bone, CT scanning of animals, and mechanical testing of bone. Besides, electrical stimulation of muscles was also included.

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

Nature sciences are very basic and important areas in the development of science and technology. They can broaden human’s horizon, increase our knowledge of natural phenomena and help to improve the quality of natural and social life.For instance, osteoarthritis is a common and progressive disease. Research of osteoarthritis can help people to understand osteoarthritis and to find good solutions.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

In the study, we use micro-CT method, accompanied with histological method, to study the subchondral bone and calcified cartilage properties in animal knees using anterior cruciate ligament transection induced early osteoarthritis rabbit model, and build a novel micro-CT analysis method of calcified cartilage in line with histological analysis.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

This program provides all kinds of platforms and makes it easier to conduct different experiments ranging from molecular experiments to animal experiments and to human research. All these contents will provide me a whole view of the research and will probably make a difference on human health in the future. In addition, the people in the program come from different countries and have different perspectives, which will help broaden my scientific thinking during conducting the research.

5. What have you achieved so far?

Images have been reconstructed and the volume of interest have been selected for micro-CT analysis. Besides, the methods of calcified cartilage analysis have been developed and optimized, combined with histological results to characterize the structure of subchondral bone and calcified cartilage.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

In the program, what I enjoy most is that I can communicate with people from many countries in the world, which helps broaden my horizon and help me learn more about what is going on in the other part of the world, including culture, education, technology, and so on.

7. What are your future goals?

At the end of this study, the properties of osteoarthritis related subchondral bone and calcified cartilage in early osteoarthritis are evaluated and the relationship between these parameters and the osteoarthritis development will be built and quantified. Finally, the quantification relationship between them can be applied to clinical osteoarthritis patients for osteoarthritis detection.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

If you want to have broader horizon in your doctoral study, Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes are a very good choice. This program provides all kinds of platforms and makes it easier to conduct different experiments ranging from molecular experiment to animal experiments and to human research. All these contents will provide you a whole view of the research. Besides, the people in the program come from different countries, which will help broaden your scientific thought during conducting the research.
Amir Esrafilian: Evaluation of knee joint loading based on the subject specific musculoskeletal model - finite element approach

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Rami Korhonen

University of  Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

Email: amir.esrafilian (at) uef.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I come from Iran and I did my bachelor and master in mechanical engineering at Isfahan University of Technology. I did some research on quadruped robot stabilities and control algorithms while doing my bachelor and energy expenditure optimization of spinal cord injuries during walking with reciprocal gait orthoses in my master.

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

Since high school, I was highly interested in physics and spent most of my time in physics laboratory. The incredible world of physic motivated me to choose mechanical engineering and then became interested in biological fields from engineering perspective. All these made me use mechanical engineering as a tool to investigate human locomotion and musculoskeletal disorders.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

My PhD research is to develop a multi scale subject specific finite element model of the human knee joint. This model will be run by muscle forces obtained from electromyography of the subject during a specific motion and outputs are stresses, strains and fluid pressure of tissues including cartilages, menisci and ligaments. These outputs could be used to estimate tissue degeneration and knee osteoarthritis development.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

BioMep provides exclusive, stable environment for researchers to focus on their work. Moreover, this program facilitates international collaborations and visits from research groups around the Europe. Annual meetings and scientific events help researchers expand their thoughts and experience others’ ideas. All these unique benefits pushed me forward to apply for this position.

5. What have you achieved so far?

Up to now, the model has been developed and results has been accepted at the 8th world congress of biomechanics and selected as first 20 abstracts nominated for European society of biomechanics student award.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

I really enjoyed working with a highly qualified research group. The group members’ ideas and experiences opened new ways of thinking for me and made me more in to the field. 

7. What are your future goals?

I would like to continue and extend my research in other musculoskeletal disorders focusing on clinical applications which are useful for preventing and curing these kind of disorders.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

These programs are marvelous opportunities for those who are thinking to continue their research abroad in world leading scientific groups and enjoy the benefits of working with different research environment while doing their PhD.

Joeri Kok: Computational modelling and image processing of bone strength and hip fracture risk assessment

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Hanna Isaksson

Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Email: joeri.kok (at) bme.lth.se

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I grew up in the Netherlands and I studied at Eindhoven University of Technology. I did a Bachelor in Biomedical Engineering and a Master in Medical Engineering, where I conducted my thesis in the university hospital of Maastricht. This thesis was about the imaging of bone formation using a PET/CT scanner.

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

Since I was a little kid I have been amazed by anything related to biology and I always had fun learning about it. In high school I learned that I was fairly good at courses like physics and mathematics. This makes Biomedical Engineering the ideal combination of skill and interest for me.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

My research is all about making finite element models of the femur. The eventual goal of these models is to be able to make better patient-specific assessments of fracture risk and potentially decide on the best treatment for the patients at high fracture risk.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

Towards the end of my Masters I decided that I wasn’t done doing research and that I wanted to continue working in an academic environment. However, I did want to properly challenge myself and get the most out of my research as possible and I believe that going abroad and collaborating with other research groups is the best way to do this.

5. What have you achieved so far?

So far, I have been working on preparing finite element models for a mechanical test we will perform soon. One thing that I have been looking at is a better implementation of the material properties of the cortical bone, which should lead to a better correlation of measured strain data on the bone surface. Another thing that I recently started is the creation of models with ‘cement’ injections that should help increase the bone strength.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

The best thing so far for me is how welcoming everybody has been in my new group and in general here in Sweden. As soon as I came here I felt at home, which has also helped me enjoying my research even more than I expected. I have also been on two small trips for my PhD work (one summer school in Italy and one trip to collect data in Lithuania). These types of trips are one of the reasons why I wanted to do a PhD and they were even more fun than I could’ve imagined.

7. What are your future goals?

I try not to think too far ahead about my own future, but for as far as my PhD goes I want to have an impact on the way that fracture risk is assessed and on potential treatments to reduce this risk. For the rest I want to develop myself in a broader sense to maybe also help others in gaining knowledge or realizing their goals in the field of Biomedical Engineering.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

Go for it. If you have any doubts, ask. There are a lot of people working in a Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programme and e-mail addresses are not hard to find.
Barbara Genocchi: ln-silico modelling of astrocyte function in neuronal networks

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Jari Hyttinen

Tampere University, Tampere, Finland

Email: barbara.genocchi (at) tuni.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I come from Turin, Italy, where I lived until two years ago, and where I studied physics for my bachelor studies, and nuclear and biomedical physics for my master studies. I then conducted my master thesis research in London at The Institute of Cancer Research UK.

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

I have always been interested in understanding the world as much as I can, and for this reason, I was interested in Physics since the high school. But in more general, I’m interested in all the fields that are related with nature, as it is the most complex environment we can imagine, and I find exciting trying to understand it in its deepest laws.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

My research aims to understand and computationally model the role of the astrocytes, and how the activity of these cells and neuronal networks are coordinated and what basic mechanisms these interactions have in health and disease. I will focus my research on epilepsy. There is, in fact, increasing evidence that astrocytes have an important role in epilepsy and we hope in the future to be able to develop astrocyte-based cures for neuronal diseases.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

When I saw the call last October, I thought it was a great opportunity for my future work in such a great network of universities. Having the possibility of being in contact with other students from all over the word and also, thanks to the annual meeting having the chance to obtain suggestions on my work both from fresh and young researcher similar to myself, but also from experienced researchers.

5. What have you achieved so far?

First testing results are coming out from our model, and this led me to participate in the XIII European Meeting on Glial Cells in Edinburgh this July and I will participate in the European Synapse Meeting in Milan the next December.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

In these firsts six months it was interesting discovering the university environment and the Finnish culture. It was also very nice feeling every day a little bit more part of the group here at the Tampere University of Technology. Moreover, when I started, everything was new, exciting but also scaring, now, starting to obtain results gave me more self-confidence and I started enjoying more the work itself.

7. What are your future goals?

I would like to gain a lot of experience in teaching and supervising students, but also create and then expand my scientific network. I would like some day to go back to Italy and set up my group on computational neuroscience.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

Do not lose this occasion, maybe being scared of moving abroad. These programmes are big opportunities for young students because they permit to be part of important laboratories and research environments with lot of connections and possible stimuli for your research and career.
Thomas Notermans: Computational modelling of Achilles tendon biomechanics and mechanobiology

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Hanna Isaksson

Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Email: thomas.notermans (at) bme.lth.se

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

Hi, my name is Thomas Notermans and I’m from the Netherlands. I pursued my Bachelor and Master degree in Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology with a special interest for numerical modeling of growth and remodeling of collagenous tissues, e.g. the aortic heart halve.

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

My interest in natural science comes from the intriguing complexity of biology and especially the human body. It appeared very interesting for me from the start unravel the complex mechanisms involved in the growth and remodeling of a human being to affect health care and subsequently quality of life.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

My research will investigate how mechanical loading influences tendon function, structure and composition  under supervision of Assoc Professor Hanna Isaksson at Lund University in Sweden. The first part of the PhD work will address the effect of loading on intact rat Achilles tendons. A previously developed mechanical model will be used to investigate the effect of unloading on rat Achilles by using experimental data that were recently obtained. Future research should address a mechanobiological model to couple the dependent growth and remodeling of different components in the tendon to the evolution of mechanical properties.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

The BioMEP programme gave me an excellent opportunity to perform interesting fundamental research abroad with a high degree of international possibilities to visit interesting research groups all across Europe. In addition, there is a significant focus on obtaining additional education in specific courses or soft-skills, to ensure discrete innovative personal development.  

5. What have you achieved so far?

Thus far, the majority of the research has been devoted to reading the literature considering the biomechanics involved in Achilles tendons. Subsequently I focused on the finite element implementation of our mechanical models and adapting these implementations to the newly obtained experimental data. Currently, we are developing a method for combining different types of experiments and corresponding simulations to combine as much experimental data as possible to ensure a well-determined mechanical model.  Our next target is to determine a final and feasible approach to conclude the first study.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

Foremost, a  great international and personal atmosphere in our group. Secondly, the high level of  biomechanical research. Finally, I enjoy the possibility to have the time to really dive into a very specific problem and learn about all the different aspects to develop a deep and comprehensive understanding and possibly changing our understanding of the mechanisms underlying complex biomechanical behaviour. 

7. What are your future goals?

One of the most complex constituents in the human body, from a mechanical perspective, is collagen. I would love to significantly contribute to a better understanding of the growth and development of collagen. In addition, I would like to to translate the findings of my PhD studies into discrete changes in medical sciences to improve quality of life.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

If you want to be a part of a European high-quality research network in the field of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics with endless possibilities to grow and learn to impact research and improve the medical quality of life of people, you should apply now!

Gustavo Orozco: Numerical modeling of adaptation of articular cartilage to abnormal loading in the knee joint

 

Primary supervisor: Professor Rami Korhonen

University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

Email: gustavo.orozco (at) uef.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

Hello, my name is Gustavo. I am from Cali, Colombia. I studied my bachelor and Master in mechanical engineering at Universidad del Valle. During my studies, I did my research about computational biomechanics. 

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

Well, my decision to work on natural sciences, especially biomechanics is founded in the interdisciplinary research, for instance, from the engineering point of view, I could share concepts with doctors and medical staff to solve common problems.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

Currently, I am working as junior researcher in the Biophysics of Bone and Cartilage group (BBC) at University of Eastern Finland. My PhD research is related with developing a computational model which is able to predict local changes in the collagen network during the progression of osteoarthritis. The model includes articular cartilage interactions for a normal knee joint and the contributions of menisci, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. I consider that my research project may help in understanding and preventing diseases in the knee joint and improve clinical treatments.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

I applied to BioMEP doctoral programme because it offers complementary expertise of excellent European research groups with strong cooperations with many universities around the world in the field of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics. Also, I liked this particular program since it requests for highly-qualified biomedical engineers to move towards innovative approach in research and multidisciplinary education.

5. What have you achieved so far?

Well, I just started my research in BBC group but recently we presented our preliminary results in the last annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in San Diego, USA with positive feedback.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

I really enjoy to work in this research group at University of Eastern Finland with an excellent interdisciplinary teamwork which is recognized as one of best research groups in biomechanics around the world. I feel that this opportunity will enhance my capabilities for my future career as a research scientist. Besides, I have enjoyed the beautiful Finnish nature with some colleagues in many extracurricular activities.  

7. What are your future goals?

My short-term goal is complete my PhD research with a solid performance. After this, I would like to continue to growing as research scientist. In future, I would like to continue working on biomechanics developing new strategies to improve medical protocols.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes are a great opportunity to enhance career development and prospects by working abroad. I consider that this wonderful program allows you to work in a first-class research environment while benefitting from an innovative developing and multidisciplinary attractive education.

Yike Huang: DNA-origami based biosensing for medical applications

 

Primary supervisor: Assistant Professor Anton Kuzyk

Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

Email: yike.huang (at) aalto.fi

 

1. Where do you come from and what have you previously studied?

I am from China and I studied bioengineering for my Bachelor and Master in China and  US. respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

2. What made you choose natural sciences?

I am very interested in natural science. I am curious about the mechanism behind phenomenons and good at solving question-driven problems.

3. What is your research subject in your PhD work?

I study DNA origami based dynamic nanostructures.

4. What made you apply to BioMEP doctoral programme?

I wanted to study DNA origami technology and to combine the aptamer technology that I acquired in my Master program with it. I came up with the project idea and was seeking fundings for it. I found this program and also noticed that there were many other benefits such as international and industrial connections and interactions compared to other scholarship.

5. What have you achieved so far?

I have finished the preliminary study and successfully incorporated an aptamer into an DNA origami to construct the dynamic structures during the past 6 months.

6. What have you enjoyed the most during your PhD work?

I enjoy the working environment. The university resources are adequate. The lab is well equipped. Colleagues are friendly. My advisor gives me both autonomy and guidance which makes me work efficiently. I am learning new knowledges and techniques and having a productive research here.       

7. What are your future goals?

I want to have a fruitful Ph.D. work. After that, I hope to start up my own DNA technology company.

8. What do you want to say to people who are interested in applying to recognized Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral programmes?

It’s a good program. If you have great ideas, are motivated to work in science, and interested in sharing knowledge and information with people from different background, just apply!