Signe is pursuing a PhD in computational toxicology at Uppsala University

Name: Signe Klinting
Based: Uppsala, Sweden
Current role: PhD student at Uppsala University
Year of graduation: 2017

What did you study as an undergraduate (bachelor)?

Molecular Medicine

Why did you choose the Master programme in Toxicology?

I was looking for programmes in Sweden and Norway and found the set of courses on the Toxicology master very interesting and a good combination of molecular biology and medicine. I wanted to study something more specialized to get some expertise within a field and obtain an interesting and different educational profile.

Where did you conduct your MSc thesis and what was it about?

I did my thesis at the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Swetox) in computational toxicology with focus on machine learning (QSAR) and toxicokinetic modeling (PBTK).

Looking back on your time at KI and the Master programme in Toxicology, what is the most valuable thing that you learned?

I discovered a whole "new" world of rules, guidelines and regulations that needs to be considered with doing toxicological research. I was surprised and slightly concerned with the fact that I had not heard of this world at any point during my bachelor studies. The challenges we are facing in toxicology and the tasks that lay ahead are enormous and important. It will be exciting to see what the future brings.

Where are you and what are you doing now?

I recently started my PhD at Uppsala university in collaboration with Swetox. I am going to work with endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), investigating the reason why many of these compounds give very different results depending on the in vitro system used for testing. If our hypothesis turns out to be correct, my work have the potential to improve in vitro testing of EDCs and perhaps even other types of chemicals, making alternative testing methods more consistent and useful in risk assessment.

What made you decide on this career?

I felt the need to become even more specialized and get the change to improve my laboratory and computational skills further. I believe a PhD will give me that. And most importantly, I think my project seems really cool and have the opportunity to be applied in "real-life toxicology". For me it is important that I am doing something that can be put to actual use and make a difference.