I am a group leader in the department of Cell & Developmental Biology (Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie) at the University of Würzburg, Germany. My research interests centre around the cytoskeleton, motor proteins, and membrane trafficking. My organism of choice – both for studying those processes and exploring its biology in general – is the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei. T. brucei is the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis, colloquially known as sleeping sickness (in people) and nagana (in cattle).
I studied biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK (1998-2002), with lab experience gained at the Department of Biochemistry and the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. I did my PhD at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK (2002-2006); my postdoctoral period (2007-2014) in the laboratory of Graham Warren was spent at both Yale University, USA (2007) and the Max F. Perutz Laboratories in Vienna, Austria (2008-2014). In 2015 I moved to Würzburg to start my own group.
As such, I have experience of both university departments and research institutes, I have worked on both sides of the Atlantic, in both English-speaking and German-speaking countries, I have been involved in a lab relocation, seen a department go into meltdown, and met some of the smartest, most enthusiastic, and most inspiring personalities a body could hope to encounter. All those experiences I propose to channel into this blog – and hopefully start a conversation as to how the world of science operates on the inside.
Besides science, I am very interested in the arts – especially theatre. While in Vienna I founded the Vienna Biocenter Amateur Dramatic Club (VBC ADC), and throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies I was involved in the university drama scene. I’m also a confirmed film fan, and used to write a blog containing mostly reviews – this is in indefinite hiatus at present. I am committed to science communication, and have participated in Science Slams and other public events.
2022 update: At the end of 2021, having run a 100% self-funded independent research group for 7 years, my funding was discontinued. I spent 2022 engaged in a career switch out of academia and into science management/administration, slowly winding down my research group while also acting as manager for the Physics of Parasitism research focus network and being designated successor for the student coordinator position at the Faculty of Biology, University of Würzburg.
2023 update: In January 2023, I resigned from all positions I held at the University of Würzburg and left it and academia at the end of April. A longer description of this decision can be found here.
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