Laura Dickinson, (PhD, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) is postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Nynke Dekker at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
“What I found rewarding was that I was able to do things in the Nano-Bio Lab, such as making quantum dots, that I wouldn’t normally have been able to do. The extra requirements, although interesting and very valuable in hindsight, added extra anxiety and stress. What I found most interesting was interacting with PhD students that I might not have had the chance to otherwise because they were in different departments. When I started my PhD, I assumed that during my time at Hopkins I would always be within my small scientific niche, only interacting with those in my research group, or in very similar fields as my own, because that would be most beneficial to my specialization. And I believe that is the case for most PhD students, but that is wrong. In the INBT cohort I was a part of, we were a hodgepodge of students from different research areas and departments (computer science, chemistry, engineering). Through our weekly meetings, we taught and shared with each other important findings or fundamentals from our own fields of research. In the end, it made me realize that all our disciplines are interconnected in some way, and that we were all just using different methods/technologies to solve the same societal/health problems. I also really enjoyed the chance to live and work abroad for three months at IMEC in Belgium”.