Summer Research in Stockholm: Kyle’s View

Kyle (he/him), Wake Forest University, came to DIS Stockholm to spend his summer furthering his academic passions, participating in a biomedical lab, and living in a country that he’s loved for years.

DIS: Tell us a bit about yourself

K: Hello, my name is Kyle, I’m a New Yorker and a rising senior at Wake Forest University. I am on track to graduate with a biology major and a neuroscience minor, ultimately in pursuit of a career in research. Specifically, I want to explore the world of alternative therapeutics for various mental illnesses.

DIS: Why did you decide to come abroad with DIS?

K: I decided to come abroad with DIS because of my love for Sweden and passion for science. I first visited the country as a twelve year-old hockey player. Although the tournament I came for did not go as planned, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. That nostalgia, paired with the courses’ alignment with my studies, drove my return. I chose DIS specifically because of its esteemed reputation nationwide and having heard stories from former DIS students who had an incredible time.

DIS: Why did you choose the Biomedical Lab course?

K: I chose the Biomedical Lab course because it was a great start in my research career. I have little prior research experience given that I took the “COVID gap year” and changed majors as a sophomore, so seizing this experience was a no-brainer. Furthermore, this course is based at the Karolinska Institutet so there was no way I could turn down the opportunity.

DIS: What goes on in the lab that you’ve been working in?

K: My lab is focused on biometrics, immunology, and molecular biology. The first unit dove into diagnoses for various cardiovascular, respiratory, and viral diseases; immunology was centered around mutant and wild type cell growth, and molecular biology concerned breast cancer cells.

The lab is filled with pipetting. Namely, transferring substances from one vial to another. This is an integral part of research so it was nice to gain some experience. I enjoyed the day-to-day of seeing how detailed experiments progressed. Whether that was watching mutant cells affect cell growth or exploring the properties of tumors, my interest was always piqued.

DIS: Tell us about the Karolinska Institute and why you were excited to go there.

K: KI is an incredible medical school and hospital. In fact, it is one of the most esteemed in the world. It provided an incredible opportunity for me to learn from the best of the best in the field before I start my own research later in life.

I also got to know the lab faculty and they were amazing to work with; they answered every question in great detail regardless of its complexity. They cared for us as their pupils and wanted us to excel. It was a pleasure to work with them.

DIS: Tell us about your other summer course, Lifespan Psychology.

K: Lifespan Psychology is a great course, the material is engaging and my professor makes it fun to learn about because of her evident passion for the topic. We discussed the psychosocial factors that make for the expression of the ‘self.’ My class was a close-knit community which further enhanced the experience.

DIS: How are you experiencing studying in Stockholm? What will you take with you?

K: I absolutely adore Stockholm. It is my second home — behind New York, of course. I feel like a local and have zero complaints. It is beautiful, homey, and fun.

I would like to live here for a couple of years after I graduate to do research. There are multiple labs that connect with my pursuit of a career in neuroscience. Specifically, the lab at Stockholms Universitet among others at Karolinska Universitet.

DIS: Have you made any local connections?

K: I met with a researcher at Stockholm University two weeks ago — we spoke nonstop for two and a half hours about neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and life in general. He told me that he will recommend me to his colleagues for an assistant researcher position next summer and that he would like to work with me in the future in his own lab!

DIS: What advice do you have for prospective summer students?

K: Absorb everything! Students, you can’t miss out on anything this city has to offer. It is incredible in every sense of the word. Be outgoing! Try different places and never say turn down an adventure. Engage with people! I made great friends that I will stay in contact with for years to come.

Learn more about Kyle and DIS:

>> Kyle’s Fall Semester Blog

>> Summer at DIS

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