Petra Kukanja is a first-year postgraduate student at Uppsala University. After completing her BSc degree in Biotechnology from the University of Ljubljana, she was introduced to the fundamental metazoan transcriptional mechanisms under the Barborič Laboratory at the University of Helsinki. There, she was given an opportunity to participate in a project investigating the importance of RNA polymerase II promoter-proximal pause release in transcriptional response to genotoxic stress. She is currently enrolled in the MSc Program in Medical Research with a focus on molecular medicine. Her research interests are open to exploring possible diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment options through comprehending and manipulating various disease-causing mechanisms. Petra will be spending the summer in prof. Matija Peterlin’s laboratory at UCSF. She is excited to deepen her knowledge in the field of gene regulation and learn more about HIV gene expression and latency. In her free time, Petra volunteers at the Scout Association of Slovenia. Devoted to the music she also completed her violin studies at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana. Finally, she can not complain about switching cold Nordic winters for endless Californian summers.