This is a podcast from the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). We've asked Karolis Bauza from Lithuania, why he decided to do a DPhil project with the Nuffield Department of Medicine. He also talks about his research and his experience living in Oxford.
KB: So I decided to come and do a DPhil project in Oxford, or more specifically, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine for a couple of reasons really. During my undergraduate years, I spent most of my summers conducting lab-based research, investigating tropical diseases like malaria or dengue. Right away, I really felt that those are the diseases that I would like to work on during my DPhil years as well, and Oxford is known worldwide for its excellence in tropical medicine, and the resulting lab-based research. And obviously, I applied for a DPhil studentship, and I was successful in getting it.
My research deals with vivax malaria, liver-stage vivax malaria, and I belong to the Jenner Institute, where most of the investigators, work on diseases like influenza, HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria. Vivax is considered to be less deadly, and yet more prevalent worldwide. Our lab is unique in that we genetically modified viruses as our vaccine vectors and we are hoping that those genetically modified viruses induce high levels of T cells and antibodies that help to protect humans on subsequent exposure to malaria or any other pathogen.
My life in Oxford is actually quite busy because I not only do research but also play blues basketball for the main Oxford University team. Of course, Oxford is known for its academic excellence, but I think what is possibly looked through by people coming from outside is the social life in Oxford. And I think starting with bops or exchange dinners or guest dinners and going all the way to the nightlife, Oxford can offer a very vibrant social scene. And I think that the most picky people who for some reason can't find anything in Oxford, always can go to London, which is just an hour away and London can satisfy anyone's taste and liking.
If you have an inquisitive mind and want to dive into an area of interest within the research from day one, want to be surrounded by some of the world's brightest researchers and equally clever fellow DPhil students, I would definitely say that you should consider applying. It is competitive, but at the end of the day, it's worth it.