When puberty hits you

Hi all,

My name is Linda Helena Müller and I am writing to update you on my HiLIFE Research Traineeship. During the last six months, I have been working on puberty research in the Raivio group at Helsinki University. The time flew by and I am excited to have successfully finished my Master’s thesis project recently. In fact, I just submitted my thesis last month. I used the HiLIFE scholarship to explore a field of research I have not been in contact with before. In my project, I worked in the area of stem cell research and neuroscience. Specifically, I have used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to activate a gene associated with puberty initiation. The traineeship allowed me to improve my skills in the fields of genetics and cell culture. However, I have also learned a lot about other stem cell research areas by attending talks and a retreat of the Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program at Helsinki University. I am glad to report that the HiLIFE Traineeship completely fulfilled its purpose of exploring a research curiosity of mine.

Being at the end of my Master’s degree, I am now sure that I want to keep following the academic career and enroll in a PhD program after graduation. This traineeship and the methods I have learned were a tremendous help in getting into the PhD program of my choice. I will start my PhD at the EMBL institute later this year and continue in the same research field. Therefore, I am highly thankful to have been chosen as one of the HiLIFE trainees. This research period greatly helped me to orientate on what field I would like to keep working in and allowed me to learn important methods for doing so.

Aside from the academic part, performing this traineeship also gave me the opportunity to further experience life in Helsinki. I have fallen in love with the city and was thrilled to attend this year’s Vappu celebration since it was canceled last year. I even fried Munkit with the help of a Finnish friend. I also added my favorite picture of the Helsinki city center which I took on the night of the Lux light festival – check it out below. I am sad to leave Finland, however, the last months have been an excellent ending to my Master’s studies in Helsinki.