Piotr Sirko

The rich
confines of the living world around us just seem too nice to remain untouched.
Dissecting this world and pulling its secrets is a lot of fun and in the best
of traditions. The tools of modern science only enhance this experience. Thus
it was only natural for me to want to continue with a PhD after attaining an MSc
at the University of Warsaw.

What I think is
one of the biggest advantages of the LMCB’s four year program, is that it gives
students the resources to make a grand entry to the scientific world and let
them pursue whatever research activities they'd like. The first year consists
of rotations, exposing students to different laboratories and different
leadership styles, inciting them to take the best out of each one of them,
combine them and make an original contribution to the style of whichever lab in
which they plan to pursue their PhD. Furthermore it gives one the occasion to
familiarize oneself with a vast array of research techniques, saving precious
time during the actual research for the PhD.

The program has
allowed me to get acquainted with electrophysiology, greatly broadening the
range of research topics available to me. During the first year we had helpful
tutorials with distinguished scientists, many of whom are involved in the
program. The tutorials enable students to establish and understand links
between fields, which at a first glance would seem far apart from one another.
The stimulating discussions during those tutorials bring students right to the
cutting edge of science, build confidence and have made me feel a very welcome
member of the scientific community here from the very start.

There's a lot
of emphasis on communication here at the LMCB. It's not just about the
tutorials, which of course bring you together with leading scientists in an
informal setting. It is customary that students have lunch with guest speakers,
who generally give a talk every week. There's a conference each year for the
students, usually oversees, organized in co-operation with a PhD program from
another institute. Students can also mingle with senior staff members freely,
whether just during lunch, seminars or much less formal events. An open-minded
approach ensures that both established and more controversial subjects can be
discussed. It's easy to make friends and everyone, from group leaders to your
senior students, is more than willing to guide you and help you in your
pursuits.