My science background
My training is in Cell Biology. In a nutshell, a cell biologist tries to understand how the cells inside our bodies function. This is fascinating and also very complicated. Have you ever wondered how your digestive track digests food and absorbs nutrients? Or how you can read this text and (hopefully ;)) remember it later? And what happens when you get sick?
Behind each of these questions there is an entire world: different types of cells communicate with each other and respond to their environment. Inside the cells, tiny proteins – the actual workers inside the cells – have to be in the right place at the right time.
A cell biologist tries to understand the processes behind these types of questions. So, we study these processes in great detail and use different techniques to actually look inside living cells.
My PhD research
As a PhD candidate you work for years on a particularly tantalizing question. During this time, you try to understand how the process works and you come up with ways to test your theories. This can be very challenging, because you are literally venturing into the unknown. Matt Might explains this brilliantly in his Illustrated guide to a PhD.
My favorite protein was a motor protein and my weapon of choice was microscopy. Motor proteins just speak to me. These little nano-machines walk with a proud bi-pedal stride and carry things that are easily 20 times their size: thumps up for the little guy! Check out some amazing animations that show the intricate dance of proteins inside cells made by Biovisions at Harvard University. Can you spot the motor proteins in 'The Inner life of the cell'?
Take a look below at the folder with a short summary of my PhD project.
Want to know more? Check out this article about motor proteins on Science Palooza.