Succesfull lauch of HiLIFE’s Reseach Intensive Study Module

Group photo with the Research Intensive Study Module students & organizer Juha Saarikangas.

The first HiLIFE research training module was recently completed and proved to be an immidiate success. Organized in collaboration with the Genetics and Molecular Biosciences Master’s program (GMB), this module is designed to equip master’s students for future PhD studies. Comprised of lectures (GMB-901) and hands-on research (GMB-902) the module offered a blend of knowledge and experiences for students who are interested in continuing on the academic path.

Ten exceptional students, Eli, Georgios, Nea, Neža, Nicholas, Nisa, Nuša, Vandhana, Veikka and Vid were chosen based on their academic merits and compelling motivation letters to embarked on an research journey. They were each partnered with a HiLIFE-affiliated research groups or technology centers in one of the HiLIFE’s operative units — BI, FIMM, or NC — across three campuses where the students delved into diverse research projects. The spectrum of research was broad, ranging from establishing CRISPR knockout libraries for studying colorectal cancer development, to exploring the effects of small molecules on pancreatic beta cells, and molecular simulation studies aiming to unravel the function of the respiratory chain of mitochondria.

Nicholas presenting his project.
Nea carrying out her research work.

Once a week, we would gather for ‘group meetings,’ during which students presented their projects and the techniques they had learned in their respective host groups. These sessions facilitated knowledge exchange, presentation-, and problem-solving skills, overall fostering a collaborative camaraderie among the students.

The course culminated in a poster session on Fri 10.5.2024 at the Viikki Campus, where students presented their findings to an audience comprising fellow students and more senior researchers. The poster evaluation committee, comprised of GMB director Kari Keinänen and BI director Juha Huiskonen, lauded the overall quality of research conducted during the internships. The best poster price was awarded to Eli Eriksson from the Battersby lab for her presentation titled “Co-translational errors in mitochondrial protein synthesis are linked to cell fitness.” As a reward, Eli secured a prestigious HiLIFE Research Trainee Scholarship including 4-month salary to support her master’s thesis research.

Heartfelt congratulations to Eli and all participating students for their remarkable research achievements within a constrained timeframe. Also, big thanks to all the participating research groups who provided fascinating projects and excellent guidance to the students.

The call for research groups and students to partake in the 2025 course is set to open in late fall. Don’t miss out participating in this fantasticly rewarding journey!

Juha Saarikangas, Organiser

Eli Eriksson and the winning poster.
Poster session at Biocenter 2, Viikki Campus.