Paula da Silva, PhD student
I was born in Coimbra, Portugal and grew up in a small town called Entroncamento, about 120km north-east of Lisbon. My most prized possession growing up was a microscope I got for my 7th birthday – I have always claimed I wanted to be a scientist (wearing a lab coat all day and finding the cure to cancer sounded very appealing to seven-year-old me!). Fast forward a couple of years, I applied for a bachelor’s in Biochemistry at the University of Coimbra. After my bachelor’s I took a semester off to go to Lund and work as a research assistant in Kemicentrum doing something completely different in physical chemistry – I needed a new challenge and I got one! After I came back home, I graduated from the University of Coimbra with a Master’s degree in Biochemistry, during which I studied energy metabolism in the brain. I joined the Ruas’ lab as an exchange student during that time and got the “exercise bug” – so I applied for a PhD position here.