Dear readers,

Me and my fellow ESRs have entered the very last year of the project. Experiments, data, reviews, tables, statistics, papers, doubts… Yeah, doubts. Doubts and pressure have become my best friends for the past few(?) months.

Will I make it? Am I good enough? How much time left? How many papers? HOW MANY?Of course, this is no surprise. The path to becoming a scientist is not all paved with flowers and rainbows. And to be honest, the accomplishment would not be as satisfying if it was. It is not a flat line, it is a crazy road going up and down permanently, taking a sharp turn and two steps back at the same time. These past few months have been the worst months of my ESR life, and equally the best ones. The pressure I had on my shoulders was insane, but the reward… The beauty of finally getting results, or even a tiny little sparkle of hope that it might work, instantly erases the traces of struggle you had to fight to come through. It is very easy to get lost or frustrated, results are usually not what we expect them to be. Well interestingly, they never are and it’s fascinating!

Secondments and conferences are a great way to see your project from a brand new angle, meet new people and release a bit of pressure. This month I had the opportunity to visit Anteneh (ESR2) and Pr. Merete Eggesbø at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway. Together we investigated the correlation between endocrine disruptors and an increasing problem: undescended testis or ‘cryptorchidism’. We had many meetings leading to nice results that we hope to publish soon! People I met during my secondment in Oslo were really nice and supportive, taking away some of the pressure of the past few months and giving me the motivation to go further!

Thanks again to all of you!!

In September I also had the chance to attend and present my results at the 12th BioDetector Conference in Vienna, Austria. Together with Clémence (ESR14) we had the opportunity to discuss our projects and get feedback from scientists working in different areas. It was an inspiring and amazing experience! We really hope to be able to attend again, next year 🙂

See below a couple of pictures of the beautiful places I had the chance to visit,

Stay tuned for the final chapter of our adventure!

Bérénice

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