Why do my PhD in KI

Hej! Alla! (Hello! Everyone!)

I’m Xu Chen, the first year PhD student in genetic epidemiology in KI. This is my first blog as a PhD digital ambassador of KI, so I just want to write about the most frequently question asked by my friends in China and people I met in Sweden.

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For myself, there are so many reasons to determine my decision to pursue 4 years PhD life in KI, here I can share the Top3 reasons to you at first.

Top1The biggest twin registry in the world- Swedish Twin Registry (STR)

One of my master projects in Peking Union Medical College was using sequence capture array and next-generation sequencing to identify the genetic variations in disease-related genes of Pulmonary Thromboembolism(PTE), as well as their functions and translational values. In this process, I raised a question that whether just these genetic variants were enough to explain the machanisms of PTE, and how about the roles of enviromental factors, which strategies could be used to estimate the relative importance of genetic effects and enviromental factors to these human complex diseases.

After reading some literatures, I found twin study would be an ideal way to answer my question. I searched certain twin registries over the world, found the STR is the biggest twin registry worldwide, which includes about 194,000 twins or subjects who were born from 1911 to present. There are also many famous experts and excellent researchers in STR, about 30 promising projects are ongoing, so finally, I continue my PhD education to investigate the etiology of cardiovascular diseases based on twin models.

Top2The cradle of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine- Nobel Assembly in KI

Sweden is the homeland of Alfred Nobel, and people’s attention would be attracted to this Nordic country for the famous Nobel Prize ceremony in each December. According to Alfred Nobel’s will, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet since 1901, it is composed of 50 professors in KI who will vote the winner(s) in each October,  it’s my great honor that my mentor in KI is one of the committee member.  Most remarkably, 5 of 8 Swedish Nobel Prize laureates in Physiology or Medicine are from KI so far.

As a matter of routine, each laureate of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will give a lecture in KI before attending award ceremony and banquet, so it is indeed the closest and fastest touch to this most famous prize.


Top3The most competitive place to do research

KI was founded in 1810, and it has become the largest and most famous medical university in Europe.  There are about 22 departments, 2300 doctoral students, 1600 researchers and 350 professors in KI, so it is easy to carry out your most interested projects here. KI also highly ranks in different kinds of university rankings, which were frequently used as my references to decide which university should be considered when I apply for the PhD program.

Rankings World Rank-general World Rank-medicine Rank in Sweden
QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University-2013 10
The (Times Higher Education) World University Rankings 2013-2014 36 14 1
ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) -2013 44 11 1


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