Travelling during summer is something I always enjoyed, discovering new and exciting places. However, I never expected to fall in love with a country so quickly as I did with Switzerland. These three months I spend here interning were both busy and energising, the perfect mix of work and leisure.
During my stay in Lausanne, I worked in the Applied Statistics lab (STAP) under the supervision of Prof. Stephan Morgenthaler. The aim of the project was to develop probabilistic models for the propagation of point mutations in the mitochondrial DNA along the generations in a population of cells descending from one single ancestor in order to see how quickly we can reach mutant homoplasmy and so better understand mitochondrial diseases. I learned so many exciting and fairly unexpected things about mitochondria during my internship, met equally impressive people and was also lucky to have a very implicated supervisor. I worked in a small office with two post-docs, but they made me feel very welcome and helped me with any questions that I had.
But it wasn’t all work. I visited so many unique places in my time in Switzerland, each one special in their own way. I very much enjoyed walking in Lausanne and the famous vineyards of Lavaux, going on my first proper hike ever to Rocher de Naye and going by cable cars. Not to mention Zurich and Geneva, two cities that I absolutely loved to visit on foot. I stood where Rhone and Arve meet, I saw the marmots on the top of the mountain and the elderweiss flower in the Alpine Gardens. I saw so many incredible sights and done so many things for the first time (which includes the unforgettable experience of eating fondue after being soaked in the rain) that I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was the most incredible summer I had ever had.
Me, trying to catch the Jet d’Eau :))
Ioana Bouros, University of Oxford
Applied Statistics (STAP) EPFL