Biology Personal Statement
Since the age of 8, spending many hours in the fields of Crete in observing ants in their anthills, I came upon the realization that animals have a code of communication, just like humans. I witnessed the ants communicate, collaborate and confront any obstacles collectively.
To my 8-year-old unsophisticated mind, this was merely a game, but I gradually realized that my interest in biology and the natural sciences affected me much more than I was conscious of. During my school years, the topics we discussed in Biology classes gave answers to the structures, functions and interactions of living organisms. Great achievements in biology such as cloning, the use of stem cells and the Human Genome project generated new questions that were further satisfied through watching documentaries and reading science books.
One of the most inspiring ones recently read is “The gene: an intimate history” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Through exceptional storytelling, Mukherjee succeeds in emerging us in the world of genetics from Aristotle’s take of inheritance to current discoveries, giving an overall review of the progress in the genetics field. I was inspired by the descriptions of scientists, realizing that a gentle and patient approach are essential qualities of a researcher. Even the recently launched Earth BioGenome project, that aims to map the genomes of 1.5 million species in order to maintain biodiversity and support human societies, confirmed my expectations that biology will never fail to surprise me.
In 2016 I participated in the National Biology Competition and gained 12th place overall. While preparing for this I faced the challenge to study material that was beyond our school syllabus. In 2018 I had the chance to take part in a biology research programme in NCSR “Demokritos”, the most renowned research institute in Greece. I experienced firsthand the revolutionary experimental procedures bioscientists follow to affront current medical issues. I apprehended the importance of in vitro and in vivo experiments and grasped the complexity and beauty of designing an experiment.
I understood the importance of studying the smallest unit of life in order to comprehend the wider picture and exercised my practical laboratory skills. After attending a workshop on the 3D molecular and chemical structure of biomolecules using computer software, I acquired a better understanding and the potential bioinformatics offers our understanding of biomolecules. A second workshop involved the testing of effectiveness of different drugs in the treatment of lung cancer.
The interdependence of these two workshops helped me to decipher how the specific molecular structure of different drugs serves a specific purpose in its function.
Another field of biological science that intrigues me concerns the human psyche and behaviour. An integral role in this was my great love of reading and inclination towards classical literature. From Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky to Camus and Kafka, I fathomed the complexity of the human psyche and the multidimensional characteristics that make up a human being.
In addition, my volunteer experience since 2016 in Ithaca Laundry, an NGO specialized in washing the clothes of the homeless and the interaction with people that were marginalized due to the economic crisis, enriched my understanding of human behaviour. This is why I chose to study psychology in the IB programme, hoping someday to contribute to research regarding the still unknown field of neurobiology.
Biology influences our lives to a great extent as it helps us understand human health and disease whilst providing solutions to many of the economic, environmental and ethical challenges we face in the era of the 4th industrial revolution. Wishing to be an open-minded, confident and active member of a future society where natural, biological and digital worlds fuse together, I decided to apply to the international, competitive university environment that the UK will offer.