Secondment testimonial by Emir Sehovic

The Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) conduct secondments as a part of their PhD program. Below you can read more about how Emir Sehovic experienced his secondment in the laboratory of Prof. Kaprio at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM).

Emir worked on the project “(Epi)genetics of Pubertal Timing” during his secondment at the FIMM, under the supervision of Prof. Jaakko Kaprio and Dr. Miina Ollikainen. In addition to the project, the secondment had an educational goal where Emir gained additional knowledge in twin modelling, epigenetics, breast cancer risk factors, and polygenic risk scores, among others. He interacted with several research groups, attended conferences and scientific retreats and discussed literature suggested by his supervisors.

The research project of the secondment has been quite successful as all the planned results have been completed and the manuscript writing is ongoing. “I have learned a lot about pubertal timing in general, but also as a risk factor for various diseases, including breast cancer. I have also gained the ability to utilize the above-mentioned techniques and knowledge in a scientific way. I have learned a lot about various study designs and statistical methods which are in a way similar to the statistical methods I use in my main PhD project. This additional insight allowed me to optimize some of my analyses”, Emir continues.

Overall, Emir underscores that the secondment experience was a tremendously useful experience for his scientific career. “I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting project, learn many new techniques and discuss and interact with various research groups, PhDs and Post-Docs.”

“Finally, Helsinki is a very welcoming and beautiful city. Not too crowded, great public transport, a lot of interesting places to see and visit and is close to the sea. I have had an amazing five months there and have explored most of the parts of the city. One thing I will never forget are the long days, without ever going truly dark, in June and July, where I did not have to worry about staying too long for work if I wanted to do something afterwards, as the sun would surely be shining. However, I do not want to imagine how it is in winter! ;-)”