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Alena was born in Moscow, Russia. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to the province of Malaga in southern Spain, where she attended an English-speaking international school. After graduating school with an International Baccalaureate Diploma, she applied for a BSc Biomedicine programme at the University of Zurich and focused on improving her German, which was possible thanks to the immense support from her family. During her BSc, Alena completed a 3-month research internship at the Institute of Physiology, in the lab of Prof. Devuyst, where she helped characterize a transgenic mouse model. In the Fall Semester of 2020, she joined the Müller lab as a Biomedicine master student and is investigating the effects of pathogenic de novo mutations in ion channel genes. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks and discovering new places, baking and the occasional game nights with her friends.