Polychronis Tatsis

Polychronis – Master's student in Drug Discovery and Development

Meet Polychronis Tatsis, a current Master's degree student at the University of Turku and an UTUambassador 2021-2022!

"Aloha! My name is Polychronis and I am your not so typical Greek scientist that tries to survive in the North. I am currently at my second year of studies in the MSc Program of Drug Discovery & Development. This program was so well-tailored for me, since it included both the discovery and the development aspect of drugs. As a molecular biologist, I wanted to reassure that the master programme I would choose would include a lot of fields and not just fall within a single one.

Free time is currently an urban legend, yet when the planets align and have some, I dive in the vast thrifting culture of Turku like another Alice in Wonderland. Also cooking while listening to Balkan music is one of the things that keep me going.

I support the idea that science is fun and all it matters is to know what you do. Be weird, be unique and do the research YOU love. Hot things in science come and go, so choose in accordance with what makes you happy. I do not just think outside of the box… I strongly believe that there is no box at all! That has helped me a lot in building up confidence for what I do or want to do regarding my research."

Instagram: @alohamoloha I Linkedin: Polychronis Tatsis

Pol's study experience

Tell more about your programme and why you chose it!

At present, I am parkouring between the fields of crystallography and structural biology. My background is molecular biology and genetics and in reality, this field chose me, when I eventually failed to qualify as a vet in my final entry exams.

I eventually tailored my Bachelor degree to myself, and found out that science is like being a Pokémon trainer. I mean, I have used the move “Docking” way too many times to block (with an inhibitor) an opponent protein from doing its evil job!

I decided to chase this Master's and try it, since I wanted to have an insight of what is happening in pharma industry and how things work. Plot twist, very different from my biology-oriented way of thinking! Veeeeeery… 

What has been the most interesting course for you so far?

DDLP (Drug Development Learning Project) was probably my favorite course for mainly two reasons. First of all, the difficulty of it, since we were 8 people trying to find a solution and coordinate ourselves. Second, the fact that was a simulation of what is really happening during developing a drug that had to be *NEW*, so you could feel the troubleshooting, the question marks above our heads and so on. Also, let me tell you that the fact that you compete with other teams make it even more interesting. Bottom line, this is life! 

What are your future career plans?

Currently I would like to abstain from academia for at least one year. After this, I would like to continue with a PhD and sink myself even deeper into science. I enjoy the constant trouble-shooting and the fact that every day is different within the academia. I do not think that my studies have affected the way I think about my future plans. Everything is so fluid and this is the way for me.

We all grow in different rates and my rate consists of me taking a year off and continuing my job as a patent translator or even dropping out of this and distributing flyers for dog grooming competitions. Maybe four years away from academia, maybe a decade. Maybe I wake up one day and say “You know what, today I chose fashion. Let’s make a sustainable clothing line off seaweed-based bucket hats for scientists who work in the field”. Besides, there is always the possibility of me going to Guatemala and start living as a nomad while searching for spiders and other invertebrates.

Let’s wake up tomorrow and see what will happen. Ok?