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Toxicology alumna Jessica climbs to great heights for her PhD

KI alumna Jessica on a field work trip in the Bolivian Andes Photo: private

Jessica De Loma Olson, an alumna of Karolinska Institutet (KI), holds a Master's degree in Toxicology (2016) and is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at KI. Originally from Valencia, Spain, Jessica pursued a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Valencia before deciding to continue her academic career abroad. She chose KI due to its reputable Toxicology Master's Programme and the opportunity for an international degree.

During her time as a master's student at KI, Jessica emphasized the valuable skill of effective communication in a multicultural environment. Her class comprised students from over 20 different countries, providing a diverse learning experience. She also highlighted the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and the unique opportunities KI offered, such as attending Nobel lectures and meeting passionate scientists.

Following her graduation from KI, Jessica was drawn to Stockholm and pursued an academic career. She applied for PhD positions at KI and secured a position in the Institute of Environmental Medicine, focusing on molecular epidemiology and population genetics. Her research project involves studying chronic arsenic exposure in indigenous populations living in the Bolivian Andes, investigating the molecular effects of arsenic and exploring genetic adaptations to arsenic elimination.

For the future, Jessica is interested in communication, teaching, and management. She discovered her passion for project leadership and personal relationships during her PhD, and she envisions a career that combines these interests. She suggests that current students should explore their passions, engage in extracurricular activities, and prioritize networking and making connections along their academic journey.