My first degree was in Pharmacy. What I enjoyed most about the course was learning how the cell and the body work in health and disease and how drugs can influence this on a molecular level. I realised that I wanted to be part of the community that contributes to this knowledge and discover new biological facts first hand. When I finished my Pharmacy bachelor's course, I chose the topmaster MPDI because of the programme's small class size and promise to strive for excellence. Throughout the two years I valued the close interaction between students and lecturers and I have always felt that everyone involved in MPDI would help me to achieve what I wanted. Looking back, I have learned a lot about how academic science is organised. I've also learnt (how) to be critical and to present my work and I think all of this has helped me both to secure a PhD position and to get started in my project. As a first year PhD student, I'm still learning so much everyday, but MPDI has taught me the basics and given me the tools to learn more. I now work on centrosomes and cilia in fruitflies, something I never have expected to do when I was studying for my bachelor's degree, but my two master's years were an amazing opportunity to get an overview of biomedical research and to discover what interests you the most. Whether that's developing a vaccine for dengue or taking a beautiful picture of a Drosophila spermatocyte to see where a particular protein localises is up to you!
Metta Pratt, PhD student, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford