credits: @mattmight

The first conversation I remember I had with you, Gio, was at Chicago 75, when I said: “I am looking for a flat”, and you replied: “oh, I’m also looking for a flat”. Let’s look together! That was the beginning of a more then 2 years experience, where we changed two apartments. We are one of the best couple in Stockholm. I love you attitude, you taught me first how I would look like if I had the right mind set. I took you literally. I changed so much because of you and I know you changed a lot because of me. Wherever I will be, I will value the experience we had together for the rest of my life.

Thanks Mathias for taking care of Gio. He’s a good guy, I promise you. You are the most educated linguist person I know in Stockholm, and you career is just taking off. Just be bold and bit it.

Assienah, you are genetically predisposed to success. You DO know what you want, and how to get it. You will finish your project and starts many other at an insane rate. Just keep surround yourself with good people, as you are, and it will come natural for you to make your wish come true.

You and I, Hanna Sabelström , belong to “the club”. It’s a group of people ready to sacrifice what it takes to get the career they want. We struggle to understand how other people think differently and we try hard to still look humans for having such a sinful wish: conquer the world.

Thank you to the fantastic Nov2k community, firstly Karolina Kublickiene, Monica Ahlberg, Knut Steffensen, Kristina Volkova, Fernanda Torre, John Boss, Yuli CaoNaveed Asghar and Manuela Gustafsson. We are an awesome team, and we created something truly unique that, first of all, inspired me. The efforts that the seniors put in promoting innovation and “outside-the-box thinking” are an extreme rarity in Karolinska, but you put heart and passion before schemes and documents, and, naturally, this turn out to be a success.

Thank you Michelle Rönnerblad, Ruiqing Ni, Simona Conte, Tiago Pinheiro, Lizan Kawa and Ying Qu for having evolved Nov2k into something even greater. at the highest standards. I believe it changed you as much as it changed me. We were all very lucky to be able to accomplish this fantastic event for Karolinska.

People may know me for my social and friendly attitude, but I have not always been like that in Sweden. Especially at the beginning, finding friends was challenging. In that sense, I believe that Lindy Hop, and its crazy dancer community helped me a lot. For this, and for uncountable other reasons, thank you Yuli Cao. You are a bright person, that shine happiness and serenity. I beg you: keep you spirit, and help another Riccardo on your way to addres his/her foundamental quesitions.

A milestone experience in my doctoral study was FameLab, the science communication competition created at the Cheltenham Science Festival and exported all over the world by the British Council. Thought FameLab, I met so many inspiring people. Thanks to the Perugia-based sci-communication gang Psiquadro particularly Leonardo Alfonsi and Massimiliano Trevisan for making FameLab a reality in Italy, and to give me the possibility to meet the incredible Lyubov Kostova, journalists Quentin Cooper and the absurd and fantastic Frank Burnet. Thank you to all the awesome, awesome and again awesome finalists of the 2012 edition. Every single one of you is amazing. Good luck Tim Slingsby and Djuke Veldhuis for your incredible time within the BC.

Thank you Stockholm. No, you are not the New York of Europe (yet), but yes, you are working very hard to get there and I believe that if you continue to provide inspiration and platform for incredible people to meet, you will soon become the big, chaotic and continental city I know you somehow wish to be. As I really think you are a cool city, I wanted to do something for you. I invested a lot of energies in giving to you FameLab. Thanks to the people from the UK British Embassy, particularly Rowena Barber, and the British Council in Sweden, with Elin Svensson.

A special thank goes to all the writers of Prometeus 3.0, the online magazine of ANBI (Italian Biotech Association) to which I had the pleasure to write. Thank you Davide Ederle and and Eros Fabrizi for making me part of the team. Thanks Simone Maccaferri, Francesco Lescai, a super-committed Federico Baglioni, Alessandra Bosia, Luca Bucchini, Cristina Rigutto and Tommaso Scarpa. The team experienced ups and downs, and some periods challenged our ability to stay after the tasks. But we made it, always brilliantly. Giving me the chance to practice my pop communication in italian, and to discuss the subjects I wanted on such important platform is an incredible experience that I wish to maintain and keep growing.

I thought I was doing bioinformatic when, for the first time as grad student, I was moving a protein with PyMol, or BLASTing my favorite gene in NCBI. Two people have helped me understanding that: 1) no, Riccardo, that’s not what you think; and 2) you DO need a PhD only to learn just a small fraction of how the fine art of computers and biology works. I learned a lot thanks to you, Carlos Talavera-López and Mauricio Barrientos (including how to sabotage a Mac in one, simple line of code: sudo mvdir *myfiles urs/local/bin. As easy as that.). You both are talented scientists that will do great in the future, wherever that will be for you. I wish our nerdy friendship, kept together by Karen Butina and Christian PouParvin Kumar and the Python Club. I know this initiative will remain alive for long time.

Ingrid Lilienthal, I don’t know many MD that took a PhD in yeast and chromosome segregation before open people’s chests for surgery. Therefore, I can safely say that you will be the most unique MD I ever had the pleasure to meet. Enthusiasm is the key, you got all you need to succeed.

Thank you Queerolinska gang! We made Karolinska BIG news last summer, when a fabulous Cecilia Frosteus runs into Karolinska Hospital with the official KI flag, begging for “something to show off at the Pride Parade”, and she gets half of the daily supply of cotton lint, masks, hair cups, gloves and even crutches! I still don’t know how you made it, sweet. Thank you to everyone who supported the very first time of Queerolinska and Karolinska Institutet at Stockholm Pride. You know I wanted to be with you that day. But you know I don’t regret I was with someone else that week. Queerolinska has a bright future with you and with the new members. I leave the organization in the best hands possible. Thank you Isidor Braekke, for having supported QK for such a long time, and give it to use: Apostolos Tax, Alice Claeson and Ronja Erika, then joined by Evan Graham and Rrezarta Kanel Rama. You all made me so proud and make feel so lucky.

Thanks Marta Paterlini for giving Queerolinska great, great visibility in the international media, and for being an inspiring scientists that commits for both communication and research.

What would the world, and science, look like without experience designers? Thanks Fernanda Torre, Max Kleijberg and Friðrik Steinn Fridriksson for being a true inspiration for me. Thank Max and Fred for you enthusiasm and support in the Bench to Bed Project, and Fernanda for the inspiration in SciFund and Nov2k. You are extraordinary people with extraordinary powers. I am sure you will turn every company/group you will affiliate to into a magic environment.

Thank you to all the senior scientists that inspired me, inside and outside my department. Particularly, thanks to all the members of FoTO, the education steering group for cancer biology at MTC: Ingemar Ernberg, Dan Grander, Christer Ericsson and Margareta Wilhelm. You all have a unique way to approach science and education. You clearly care, a lot, for the future generation of scientists and educated citizen. I learned much more then what you think from every one of you.

Ingemar Ernberg: your are an open minded MD in a room full of biologists. I hope your desire to bring more MD to MTC will become a reality, as you are working hard to get that. Please remain an inspiration, a sociable and interested scientists with a passion for new ideas and younger generation. You will maintain MTC and Karolinska a fresh and competitive environment.

Thanks Yvonne Strandberg, just because you have been so sweet and kind with me, excusing my totally-absent swedish during all our meetings 🙂

I am sure that one of the reason I am so enthusiast about academic research is because of the environment I found where I worked at Cell and Molecular Biology department. Thank you CMB. You are far, far away from perfection, but my very personal experience with you, as a PhD student, was certainly positive. You surrounded me with inspiring people, from whom I could adsorb so many informations, inspiration and outsource knowledge.

I am not going to name all of you guys, but THANK YOU very much to all the other PhD and Post-Docs at CMB. You guys are amazing and I wish I will keep in touch with all of you as we all continue through our successful carrier, wherever that will end up to be.

Thanks Sergej Masich, you are a very skilled scientists and a natural talent pedagogic.

Finally, the boyz and the girlz. I will now try to through some of your in here but I will fail to name you all, gang of drunks! Thanks Daniel Sallmander, Gregor SutherlandMateusz MoszkowiczViktor EnglundGabriel Li and Mathieu CavoizyGermán Carrasquilla LópezNick HauntoStephen William Hurst, Carlos Villaescusa, Johan Glad, Kostantinos, Kristian, Kevin, Nancy Vivar, Markus Forslund, Helder André, Michel Anderlini, Vasilis Chatzikyriakos, Ronald Leal, Emma Huitric

Special thank you to Nicolas Ruffin: the matriarch of the one of the first family I has in Stockholm. Thanks also to Johan Ragnevad and Andre Guerreiro Cacais for the chats and the love (and the summer house, OMG!!).

Jorge Lira Ruas, I wish I will become as successful as you. You should totally consider yourself lucky for not having me as a competitor in the same field 😉

Claudio Brozzoli, thanks for scanning my brain and for the interesting interview in cognitive science. I wish you best luck with your projects.

There are a number of sports I would never suspect I would learn in Sweden. Even less likely, I would learned that from a Norwegian. So, thanks Vidar Nilsen for turning the Unconditional Love into semi-professional pole dancers, in such a short period of time. That was, you know, pretty cool.

Thank you Evan Graham. You are an extraordinary person, scientist and friend. I wish you the best luck in the world, which is just as much as you deserve. You often say I inspire you, but trust me when I say this works both ways. You can finely balance science and friendship: whether I wanna talk about ELISA or relationship frustration, you are always there for me, ready to talk. I see you growing in Stockholm: I am sure you will do a better job then me here. Everything you wanna be, or wanna get, is there for you to grab.

I cry if I think of the great great time we spent together, Henrik BergDavid von Below and David Ortega. You were literally my family for a long while in Stockholm. I wish you the best and that the strong bound that keeps us together to never fall.

Thank you Mary-Rose Hoja, the best former CMBer I ever encountered. You are a real inspiration for me. Every single one of your adviced helped me to get the job of my dream after my PhD, and to fetch important collaborators. Please keep inspiring other students and young investigators in KI, we all so much need crush course in social skills 🙂

This may be the end of it. But, of course, it is not. A final thank you to everyone I failed to mention in this letter. I don’t know when and if I will ever come back, but every people I encounter, if of value, has remained with me. You left a groove in my heart and brain, a sign will never go back. I may forget it, but it will always be there. You taught me lessons, you highlighted my spirit and make me feel happy.

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