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Faces of Ram Nation: Lovisa Werner '18, Finding Her Passion

Tilton School
This article was originally published in this year's issue of 1845: the Magazine of Tilton School.

Lovisa Werner ‘18
came to Tilton in fall 2016 as a junior, bringing with her an unwavering passion for the sciences. During the summer of 2017, Lovisa took part in a research internship in her native Sweden called Karolinska Institutet. Along with 20 other students in the program, Werner learned to use a liquid chromatography and a mass spectrometer to conclude if PFOS and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic and sulfonic acids) have any relations to alcohol consumption.
Lovisa chose this program because she has always had a passion for biology and chemistry. She had heard about the Karolinska Institutet from a friend in Sweden who had participated the previous summer. After talking with her mother, who was also very interested, they came to the conclusion that it was in Lovisa’s best interest to explore it further.

“I have always wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t know if I wanted to be in a hospital setting or in a lab,” said Lovisa. “I knew this would give me a better understanding of my true interest.”

Lovisa has been extremely passionate about math and science since middle school. Her parents were heavily involved in math and the sciences over the years, and during her elementary and middle school years in Sweden, Lovisa’s teachers were very influential and inspiring.

For Lovisa, there is just something about life and the human body that really interests her. “How is it that we breathe? What is going on inside the brain and the body?” These are the questions that led Lovisa to take A.P. Biology in her junior year and A.P. Chemistry in her senior year.

There was not much that surprised Lovisa about the Karolinska Institutet program. The rigorous days, the look, feel and experiences in the lab—they all fit her expectations. What was surprising, however, was how hard it was to write a real lab report.

“I thought it was going to be like a lab report at Tilton,” she said. “The scientific article that I was expected to write was much more difficult. The lab report took two whole weeks. It was much more scientific and difficult than I was used to, but this was very good practice for me.”

This was Lovisa’s first step toward following the passion that ignites her soul. She spent her days with 20 students in the lab, working together and bonding over how they made it to where they are today. In addition to the cultural diversity among the students, none of the program supervisors were Swedish, which added to the experience and the multicultural environment.

“It was so nice to be surrounded by different people with the same passions,” Lovisa said. “My supervisor was from Bangladesh and then moved to Sweden so it was very cool to hear his story. It was really exciting to see how science can connect people in different ways.”

Through this experience, Lovisa discovered that she does not have to pick between the two things she loves—working in a hospital or in a research lab. There are many opportunities in the medical field to work a few days in the lab, and then go to the hospital and apply what she has learned in the hospital. Lovisa is certain she will be working in a lab—white coat and all—one day soon.

Lovisa will matriculate at Connecticut College in the fall of 2018.
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