"I had my heart set on coming to Norway for my education.UiS offered the master’s subject that I was interested in pursuing; it really felt like it was meant to be" says Nora Elizabeth Anise.
Name and study programme?
My name is Nora Elizabeth Anise. I am studying Master of Science in Biological Chemistry.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to hang out with friends, go to the gym, or explore Stavanger! I also love to travel, so whenever there is a holiday or vacation, I am usually exploring neighboring European countries, which is one of perks of having the rest of Europe so accessible!
Why did you choose to study Master of Science in Biological Chemistry?
I have always been passionate about the sciences, so when my bachelor’s education in Biology was coming to close, I knew that I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. When I came across the Biological Chemistry Master’s program, I was impressed by the diverse topics covered by the courses offered. I figured that the more topics I learned about, the easier it will be to choose a future career path!
Why did you choose Stavanger and UiS?
I had my heart set on coming to Norway for my education. Growing up in the U.S, I rarely left the country, so I really wanted to experience a new place. Western Norway has spectacular nature, and the quality of life is superb. I also found Stavanger to be a multicultural city! UiS also offered the master’s subject that I was interested in pursuing; it really felt like it was meant to be.
Why did you choose your specialization?
I chose to specialize in Molecular Biology because I was interested in researching cancer biology for my master’s thesis. Molecular Biology is the branch of biology that studies the molecular mechanisms of biological activity. That includes the molecular activities that occur when a tumor is forming in the early stages of cancer. The courses associated with the specialization such as Advanced Cell Biology, better prepared me for my year-long research-based master’s thesis in cancer biology. Currently, I am really enjoying researching the metabolic implications for pancreatic cancer drug response with the Center for Organelle Research here at UiS!
How does a typical day at UiS look for you?
Because I am in the final stages of my year-long research project, I am very busy in the lab. I usually spend half of the day in the lab finishing up my research, and the other half writing my thesis. At the moment, I am growing pancreatic cancer cells in 3D and exposing them to certain drugs to analyze their effect on the cancer’s growth. When I am finished with my lab work for the day, I analyze data and write in the office space near the labs that are available for master’s students to work from. It’s great to interact with the other master’s students as well. It provides a good sense of community!
Do you have any memories from your time here till now?
I have many memories from my time here. It has been a great adventure that I’ll cherish forever! One of my fondest memories is when I hiked up Tverrfjell in the wintertime. The path was covered in snow and the mountain is 888 meters high. It was the most strenuous hike I’ve ever done, but the view from the top was unmatched! My friends and I just sat on the summit, took in the views, and ate plenty of Kvikk Lunsj. There has also been so many great get-togethers and parties! In November there was a Masterfest at the Clarion Hotel Energy, which was an event organized for master’s students at UiS. It was extremely fun to hang out with all of the Biological Chemistry master’s students!
Do you have any advice for future students?
I’d say go into the experience with an open mind. Moving away from friends and family was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and there were times when I felt like giving up. I had to look at the positives of the experience, the new perspectives I was gaining, the places I got to visit, and the new people I got to meet. Be open to trying new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone with trying activities you wouldn’t normally think of doing. You’ll get the most out of the experience that way!
What would you like to work with after your studies?
After graduation, I hope to start a PhD to continue researching cancer biology!