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Study biomedical sciences in modern Norway

What is it like to study and work within the biomedical sciences in Norway?

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A portrait of a male student standing outside a building
«Bergen is a beautiful, small city with an academically strong university», says PhD student in biomedical sciences, Arne Raasakka.
Photo:
Elias Dahlen

Arne Raasakka (29) shows us around the laboratory on the fifth floor of the Building for Basic Biological Research at the University of Bergen (UiB). He is a PhD student in biomedical sciences.

Raasakka comes from the small town of Kiiminki in Finland. He started his studies at the University of Oulu in Finland, and now he is in Norway for four years at the Department of Biomedicine at UiB to complete a PhD degree.

Quality research community

The Department of Biomedicine at the Faculty of Medicine is one of Norway’s biggest research communities in its field. The department is internationally renowned for its research and has ten different research groups. Raasakka belongs to the Neurotargeting Research Group

«I start work at nine in the morning and I'm happiest here in the lab», Raasakka says while he reaches for a small transparent plastic tube with a screw top, a so-called Falcon tube: «This is where I grow bacteria to use in my research».

New medicines

Raasakka works with proteins from myelin, which surrounds nerves and is significant for the transfer velocity of signals in the nervous system.  It's important for the PhD student to find out what happens when proteins are formed at the molecular level:

«I make the proteins we use in our research with the help of bacteria, with the aim of studying their function and structural changes in different environments. In the end we hope that our results will help develop medicines and new forms of treatment for hereditary diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis».

«What is the most exciting thing about the research»?

«I'm quite a «method junkie». I prefer applying methods to practical research. He praises his current research group: «My professor here is more than willing to use and test new scientific methods».

A strong university

«Did you know anything about Bergen and Norway before you came here»?

«A little. I had been on some fishing trips to Finnmark in the north of the country, but had never visited the south of Norway. Bergen seemed like a nice city, and a lot of the work I was going to do represented new areas of study at the university. I thought it could be exciting to contribute to new basic research in a modern building with good laboratory facilities».

Raasakka is happy with Bergen as a city and with the Faculty of Medicine at UiB.

«Bergen is a very beautiful, small city with an academically strong university. It rains in Bergen, but you quickly get used to that. My advice to other students is to find Norwegian friends», he says and recommends foreign students to be as socially active as possible.