Laurentya Olga – PhD student
What were you doing before your PhD?
I am a medical doctor from Indonesia, where I also spent 4 years practicing medicine. Additionally, I was also involved in clinical studies involving babies, mainly to promote exclusive breastfeeding. I came to Cambridge in April 2015 to do an MPhil in Medical Science in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit. My work was on isolating aldosterone-producing cells from primary adrenals. I also did a 3-month internship at Cambridge Cardiovascular, working under Dr Xuan Li.
What is your PhD on?
I am working under Prof David Dunger and Prof Ken Ong’s supervision. My work in the Department of Paediatrics is about studying the determinant antenatal and nutritional factors of infant weight gain and body composition of infants born-small-for-gestational age and infants of mothers with diabetes. There is now strong evidence that early-life exposures affect later-life obesity and cardiometabolic diseases. Both extremes of nutritional provision, overnutrition and undernourishment, in fetal or early postnatal have a long-lasting adverse effect. Both are represented in the cohort I am working with.
What do you like and dislike about being a graduate student in Cambridge?
Cambridge is a very vibrant community of world-leading researchers which allows you to surround yourself with cutting-edge research and to continue learning. College life is also fun and supportive, especially if you are a member of Peterhouse. On the other hand, it is not difficult to sometimes get caught up in the “Cambridge bubble”. Plus, it lacks food places that sell good South-East Asian food!
What do you see yourself doing after graduated from Cambridge?
After completing my PhD, I want to pursue a career as a clinician-scientist, particularly in Paediatrics. I hope to build collaborative work between Cambridge and Indonesia, my home country.