I am Alex Elíasson, ESR 11, and I am stationed out of the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. It is a bit unusual to be working as Marie-curie in your own “home” country and in all honesty that is something I was not expecting either.
I moved away from my small town in Northern Iceland some nine years ago. I was faced with the decision of either going to University of Iceland in Reykjavík or a University in Denmark for my education, and I wound up choosing the University of southern Denmark and conducting my Pharmacy studies there. I then briefly started a job in the industry before being offered the opportunity to become an ESR for ORBITAL-ITN.
I had never been dead set on going into academia, but had found myself enjoying my research project for my master thesis thoroughly. The project had taken me to Monheim am Rhein for a summer internship for BAYER Animal Health in Germany. So, when I heard about this opportunity to become a ESR for ORBITAL-ITN I knew I had to go for it, or I would likely regret it for the rest of my life. Looking back on the first year and a half it hasn’t been the smoothest journey with the global pandemic screwing up some of the benefits of being an ESR like in-person conferences, travel and for some even being allowed into the lab among other troubles.
However one should look at the bright sides and I am one of the few ESR’s that has had the pleasure of already having completed one of his secondments which took me to Turin, Italy at our Industry partner Nanovector SRL lead by Paolo Gasco, and meeting the great ESR stationed there Felipe Manuel-Gonzalez Fernandez, and although I only saw Italy during a pandemic it was still everything it promises: welcoming, great food and kind people and I can whole heartedly say I can’t wait for my next opportunity to go there.
And, well since I have no idea how to end a blog post I’ll leave you now with a couple of pictures I took of the volcano currently erupting in Iceland that I probably would have missed if I had not joined the ORBITAL program.