Molecular Techniques alumnus Thanadol locked to KI by Nobel

Name: Thanadol Sutantiwanichkul
Degree: Molecular Techniques in Life Science, 2020
Current role: Research engineer, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab)
Based: Stockholm, Sweden

KI-alumna in front of Aula Medica
KI alumnus Thanadol Sutantiwanichkul Photo: Bundit Boonyarit

Why did you choose KI?

After I finished my Bachelor’s in Biomedical Science from Mahidol University, Thailand, I was strongly interested in pursuing a career in biomedical research. 

I was searching for a graduate programme outside my home country. When I found a scholarship from the Swedish Institute for students from Thailand, I applied and received the scholarship!

At the same time, I also was in the selection process to attend the famous Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting that year. After hearing so many stories about Nobel prize winners, KI was the only clear choice for my Master’s degree. 

My next challenge was deciding which programme at KI - Biomedicine, in which I had a strong background or Molecular Techniques in Life Science (MTLS), which was unfamiliar. I ultimately chose MTLS, due to the novelty and range of career possibilities.  

 

After hearing so many stories about Nobel prize winners, KI was the only clear choice for my Master’s degree. 

Thanadol Sutantiwanichkul

How do you remember your KI experience? 

Special!!! for many reasons – here are my top 3. 

Research – The research here at KI is certainly fantastic. I was humbled to be studying at the university that decides the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  

Diversity- The environment at KI will prepare you to work as a global citizen. Our classroom was also full of international students from all over the globe. This diversity enhances our understanding of the world through different perspectives.  

Courses - The courses were amazing in my opinion. The MTLS program changed my views on research tremendously, particularly in understanding the role and translational impacts of life science in “the real world”. At the same time that we were immersed in the details of laboratory work, we had the opportunity to see the bench-to-bedside translation of applications working with patients. 

What is your current role?  

Today, I am a research engineer in Targeted Proteomics group at the SciLifeLab research facility, which is just adjacent to KI. I also conduct COVID-19 testing in the diagnosing facility in the National Pandemic Center at Biomedicum lab at KI.  

Taking the role as research engineer has been big change for me. While the research aspects are quite similar, working on a global level brings new challenges. As the COVID situation changes continuously, new unexpected problems arrive. Every day, I apply my skills and knowledge from my degree including life science, mechanics, and software, and utilize them in the real-world situation. 

What were your original plans following graduation?

My original plan was to search for a PhD somewhere in Europe. However, COVID-19 changed these plans, and it was difficult to get a position. 

During my Master’s thesis, my lab was involved in both SciLifeLab and KI for assisting with COVID-19 testing in Sweden. There was a great need for people with the right skills, so I took the opportunity to stay. 

What are your future aspirations? 

I would like to continue in the fields of life science and computational technology, specifically incorporating machine learning and AI into life science research. I feel that integration of data and tools with biology could have huge impacts for the future. 

What is your advice to current students? 

Don’t hesitate to come to KI. 

KI is such a unique place. You are immersed in a diverse environment with bright people and life science specialities ranging from intense research to business. 

My experience at KI has defined and shaped my future, and I am thankful that I studied at KI. Two years was too short! 

 

 

Interview: Fall term, 2020 

Correspondence: Tinkara Vozel, KI Student Digital Ambassador