A blog that I am both extremely excited about, but that also scares me.
My name is Kaja, I am from Denmark where I did my bachelor project and master thesis in the lab of Professor Susanne Mandrup at University of Southern Denmark. Both projects evolved around understanding enhancer mechanisms and how enhancers function together in a network to orchestra gene expression. I am passionate about enhancers and understanding the mechanisms by which they function. Therefore, I am so excited to be able to work within the ENHPATHY consortium and investigate how enhancers might give rise to disease, discuss with other enhancer-geeks and share my thoughts about enhancers and the PhD-life with you through my blog.
But honestly it is also scary. Usually, when I write something or give a presentation, it is about my data, a paper or something otherwise scientific and usually just for a small number of people. Not publicly accessible like this blog. In my blog it feels more personal; it will be about my data, but it will also be about my thoughts of enhancers, about life as a PhD student, how it is to be part of a consortium and what else I feel like sharing with you guys. And then it is on the internet… possibly FOREVER. That is scary.
I think the PhD is like being a scientific teenager. During the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, you are a kid. For the most time there is a “grown up” (older student, post-doc, professor etc.) to hold your hand, give you lectures or provide guidance. During the PhD, you still have a supervisor to guide you, but you must also become more independent and get ready for your scientific life, most likely either in the industry or as a post-doc. So now is the time to form your identity and mature as a scientist and during that process have some brilliant new thoughts, make a lot of mistakes, and have a lot of weird (or not well thought) arguments. All this I will share with you, here on my blog. That is scary, and I am sure that when I look back in 10 or 20 years there will be things on this blog that will embarrass me, but I hope there will also be things where I think, wow, did I understand that so early in my scientific career.