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Interview: Fredrik Holmström

Role: Doctoral student / Division: Clinical Microbiology

The greatest challenge with research is finding enough time.

How long have you been at KI?

I started my journey with KI in 2007 as a summer student. Having carried out simpler lab modules and learning the basics, I starting getting my own projects, which were interesting, and so I stayed in the group as a student and then as a trainee. In 2009 I wrote a thesis at KI in the same lab where everything began and since 2011 I have been a registered doctoral student.

What did you do before you started at LabMed?

I studied Molecular Biology at Stockholm University.

What's so interesting about Molecular biology?

Viruses have fascinated me ever since I studied biology at high school. The biggest reason for me choosing to study molecular biology is my interest in viruses. How viruses work, how they can avoid the immune system and even develop cures and/or vaccines against it. My studies in the field of molecular biology, where I specialised in immunology and virology, have led to my current line of research into vaccine development - an area which I feel is both interesting and necessary.

What is a typical working day like for you?

On a normal day I start by going through my mail and making sure I keep in contact with both my supervisors and my collaborative partners. Then it's time to plan the day's lab work in more detail before actually getting under way. The short lunch is a well-earned break before I throw myself into the lab again to conclude the day's lab work. The remainder of the day is spent processing results, making preparations for the next day's work and looking through various scientific articles of interest.

What do you see as the advantages of working at LabMed?

Like with many academic labs, it's having the opportunity to be creative and to plan your own studies, and thus satisfy your curiosity for a while.

What is the biggest challenge in researching at KI?

The greatest challenge is finding enough time. The opportunity to carry out really interesting studies means that time goes very quickly and it's difficult to find time for the things you want to do and everything you have to do.

What is the most fun part of your job?

The best part is when everything works and in the end you can make connections between successful studies in which the results and conclusions lead to an understanding of a bigger perspective.