Nicole’s Stockholm Story: How I Became Passionate About Medical Research

Nicole, Scripps College, studied abroad with DIS Stockholm in the fall of 2018. While in Stockholm, she took courses like the Tumor Biology & Oncology elective and the Translational Medicine: From Bench to Bedside Core Course.

Nicole’s courses at DIS didn’t just add to her study abroad experience; in fact, they ended up shaping her academic journey after she returned to Scripps. Nicole is now working on her year-long thesis project on possibly groundbreaking research in immuno-therapy cancer research.

“At DIS, I took incredibly engaging classes that shaped how I feel about what I wanted to do with my future,” Nicole shared.

Nicole at the End of Semester Showcase

A Jumping-Off Point

“I was dead set on going to medical school coming into my time abroad, and research was the last thing on my mind. But, with my core courses, elective courses, and the many field studies I got to participate in, I realized that I wanted to explore that option more.”

For biology majors on a pre-med track, there isn’t a ton of opportunities to study abroad. That’s why DIS makes such an effort to provide engaging courses with lots of experiential learning. It also helps that DIS Stockholm collaborates so closely with the Karolinska Institute – a world-renowned medical research facility just a few minutes from DIS.

Nicole’s Weekly schedule at DIS Stockholm:

Mondays & Thursdays  

Translational Medicine: From Bench to Bedside

Tumor Biology and Oncology

Public Health Policy Practice

Tuesdays & Fridays

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Swedish Language & Culture

“There weren’t a lot of abroad options that I could choose from in the first place. I had a choice between DIS and other institutions, but I ultimately chose DIS because of the hands-on learning approach that was integrated in the learning versus a traditional university setting.” Nicole said.

“The classroom was everywhere we went – whether on Study Tours, field studies, or at DIS.”

Pursuing research back home

Back at Scripps, Nicole is now pursuing a year-long thesis project at the City of Hope National Cancer Institute in the department of Immuno-Oncology – on the exact project she pursued, at first purely theoretically, in her Tumor Biology & Oncology elective. She works with an immuno-therapy cancer research team exploring the possibilities for tumor-associated macrophages reverting back to regular macrophages.

Medical Practice and Policy Core Course

What I’m doing now at City of Hope reflects what I was interested in when I was abroad. Because I was so fascinated by the intersection of immunology in cancer care, I wrote my final paper on a theoretical project that I could investigate if I had the time and resources to do it,” Nicole shared. “Fortunately, back in California, I found a PI at the City of Hope doing the exact research that I had written about. Now I get to physically do this research!”

The hands-on courses at DIS became a jumping-off point for Nicole to pursue potentially revolutionary research in the field of immuno-therapy cancer. Now, Nicole’s time at DIS is an importants milestone to look back on as she dives deeper into her research.

Want to know more about medical programs and research at DIS?

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