Caroline Starzynski is a third year PhD student who conducts cell cycle research at OIST. Polish, but hailing from Germany, she originally studied molecular biology and minored in Japanese. “I’ve always really wanted to study in Japan,” Caroline explained. She received her first chance to study in the country at Tsukuba University, doing research to determine any possible links between mitochondria and cancer.
When the time came to begin her master’s project, Caroline wanted to stay in Japan. She searched for opportunities and came upon OIST. “I had never heard of OIST… but I thought ok, why not? Everything here was incredibly new.” She currently studies cell cycle progression and the effects of nitrogen depletion on yeast.
Thinking about her fondest memories of the last three years at OIST, she comments, “Watching the university grow from its very beginnings is great… and it’s all done in a very tolerant and very open-minded way.” “There are so many interesting researchers and professors. OIST is very casual but scientific at the same time.” Now a mother, Caroline stresses this supportive atmosphere through her experience. “They’ve accepted me even though I have a baby. I can continue my studies and still be very flexible. It’s a very positive environment, and it makes it very fun to work here.”