Career stories

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© WWU/Erk Wibberg

Faculty of Medicine receives funding for research-active physicians

The University of Münster will expand its career support programme for clinician scientists who combine both clinical work and research – so that their patient-oriented perspective can help shape future medical care based on new research results. The German Research Foundation is funding the programme with more than two million euros.

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© WWU/Erk Wibberg

Profession: Physician and scientist

Medical professional Nadine Heiden is training to become a specialist physician while actively pursuing research. “I always wanted to do both,” she says – and a close connection between research and patient care can only be beneficial. Although the dual qualification is challenging, Nadine Heiden provides insight into how it is working out for her.

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“You do really need to believe that you’re equal”“You do really need to believe that you’re equal”
© WWU/Doris Niederhoff

“You do really need to believe that you’re equal”

Dr Noelia Alonso Gonzalez recently became Professor of Macrophage Biology at the University of Münster. Her career springboard was a programme run by the research network “Cells in Motion”, which aimed to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions. In a video, the researcher and mother talks about her career path, international mobility and gender equality.

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“I feel that being a scientist is the best profession ever”“I feel that being a scientist is the best profession ever”
© WiS

“I feel that being a scientist is the best profession ever”

Young scientists from the Cells in Motion Interfaculty Centre talked to Prof Sara Wickström – who has just been appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster – about her personal path in research, the challenges faced by female researchers and the prerequisites for a successfully managed research group.

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First graduate of the Study Programme “Experimental Medicine”First graduate of the Study Programme “Experimental Medicine”
© WWU/Michael Kuhlmann

First graduate of the Study Programme “Experimental Medicine”

Stefanie Bobe wants to dive deeper into medicine looking at the biomedical basis for improved diagnostic and therapeutic options. Therefore, she did an additional, science-oriented Master's degree in experimental medicine parallel to her medical studies and, in the working group led by biochemist Prof Friedemann Kiefer, became part of an interdisciplinary research team.

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Picture of a junior scientist in a labPicture of a junior scientist in a lab
© WWU

Video: Junior scientist Cristina Barca provides an insight into her research

In a new video series the University of Münster introduces junior researchers. The first one is Cristina Barca, a PhD student at the European Institute for Molecular Imaging: Using biomedical imaging, she is investigating how well certain drugs work in treating strokes. In the video she provides an insight into her everyday working life and explains what is so special about being a scientist.

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© WWU/Marie Monecke

Junior scientists receive funding – an example project

15 junior researchers at the University of Münster have received nearly 20,000 euros in funding by the Cells in Motion Interfaculty Centre. They will use the money to implement their own research ideas, gain experience in another working group or present their research findings at international conferences. An example: A team of four wants to develop an imaging system for analysing sperm motility.

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Training imaging with miceTraining imaging with mice
© WWU/Peter Leßmann

Training imaging with mice

Scientists at the University of Münster use a broad spectrum of imaging techniques to investigate structures and processes in the body. Last week, they shared their knowledge with international junior researchers: The participants of the tenth annual Mouse Imaging Academy spent five days training on different methods for examining mice.

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Cell communication in the “fear network”Cell communication in the “fear network”
© WWU/Erk Wibberg

Cell communication in the “fear network”

Biologist Dr. Lena Goedecke investigates how nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other and regulate anxiety reactions. In a guest article, she gives insights into her doctoral thesis, which she did at the graduate school of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence.

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© CiM/ Foto: E. Wibberg

Medicine and computer science joining forces

The MD thesis of Dr. Robert Seifert, a physician, is based on an interdisciplinary cooperation, supported by the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. He and his colleagues developed an algorithm for the precise analysis of image data. A WWU dissertation prize was awarded for this.

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© CiM / E. Wibberg

New “Gerty Cori” junior research groups

Dr. Noelia Alonso Gonzalez and Dr. Maria Bohnert have started working as junior research group leaders at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. Funding for their work is being provided by a new programme designed by the Cluster to support outstanding female researchers in leading positions.

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© CiM/S. Marschalkowski

My research about the coronary vasculature

Biologist Dr. Guillermo Luxán investigates in the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence what roles the molecular signals in the coronary vasculature play in cardiovascular disease. To do so, he analyses thin tissue sections under the microscope. In this guest contribution, he gives an insight into his daily life in the laboratory.

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© CiM/T. Hauss

Migrating cells and their environment

Phd student Sargon Groß-Thebing investigates in a research group at the Cell-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence how the cells’ environment affects their migration. As a biologist he works closely with mathematicians. In a guest contribution, he explains his research in a way that everyone can understand.

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© CiM/J.-M. Tronquet

How do neuronal processes degenerate?

Adults have fewer neuronal connections than infants because during development, neurons degenerate the non-specific connections. Biologist Dr. Svende Hermann investigates a similar mechanism in the fruit fly. In a guest contribution, she explains her research in a way that everyone can understand.

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© CiM - Roberto Schirdewahn

Samples from the desert in her luggage

Lulit Tilahun Wolde, a visiting academic from Ethiopia, is working in a research group at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. She brought microorganisms with her that can survive in one of the hottest regions on Earth. She wants to find out how modifications in RNA enable the microorganisms to survive.

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© CiM - Manfred Thomas

Extra time for junior research group leaders

The junior research groups at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have demonstrated convincing work with their research. After three and a half years, group leaders Dr. Milos Galic and Dr. Sebastian Rumpf are receiving financial support for a further two years.

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© CiM - Jean-Marie Tronquet

50,000 euros for junior researchers

Usually, interdisciplinary research is especially innovative. This is why the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence is funding five new pilot projects. Young researchers from several different disciplines have to apply for and implement the projects, for which they are themselves responsible.

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© Sylwia Marschalkowski

A doctor in the lab

For two years, working in the Translational Oncology lab, physician Dr. Jonas Lange investigated the properties of lymph node cancer in children. Job rotation provided by the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence enabled him to do the research.

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© CiM - Peter Grewer

Excellent minds from all over the world

Promising young researchers begin their careers in the international Graduate School of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence and at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biomedicine in Münster. Two of them are Jyoti Rao from India and Mitchell Duffy from the USA.

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© UKM - Roberto Schirdewahn

Between research and family

In her research group at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, scientist Julia Ghelman is studying which factors define the movement behaviour of cells in the central nervous system. Thanks to “LabAid” she was able to continue her research work while she was pregnant and after her child was born.

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© CiM-Peter Leßmann

A Physicist in Cell Biology

At the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence Timo Betz studies the mechanical properties of cells, for example, how they change shape in case of disease. Since of late he is a CiM Professor of Cell Mechanics. His great aim is to bring more physics into biology.

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© CiM - Peter Grewer

An Opportunity and a Challenge

Dr. Milos Galic is a Junior Research Group Leader and he has established his own working group in the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. What he appreciates most is not only the top-notch research environment but having the opportunity to combine having a family with a career in research.

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© CiM - Peter Grewer

An excellent network

Dr. Anna Junker works on her first independent research project supported by the postdoctoral programme of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. She benefits from the Cluster's Young Academy – a career development network, which junior researchers manage autonomously.

© CiM - Peter Grewer

Between the lab and the hospital

Only few physicians carry out scientific work in parallel to their everyday work in the hospital. But both doctors and patients alike benefit from close links between research and clinic. One aim of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence is to bring people with different expertise together and to promote the transfer of basic research findings to clinical applications.

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© CiM - Peter Grewer

Lots of fresh ideas

In the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, junior researchers successfully start their own collaborations. For example, physicist Robert Meißner and biologist Wade Sugden received funding for a so-called pilot project and learned a lot from the interdisciplinary teamwork.

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© CiM - Peter Leßmann

A summer in the CiM lab

International Master’s students learn at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence: In the first CiM Summer School students from all over the world work in various labs at the Cluster. They gain insights into a wide range of subjects.

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© CiM-Peter Grewer

Learning new methods

During an external research stay, Dr. Verena Hofschröer learned to work with confocal microscopy from the basics on. She applied her new skills in studying cancer cell clusters. A Train-Gain grant of the Cluster of Excellence supported her stay.

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Travel grant provides ticket to international conference

For Yvonne Padberg, a doctoral student in Biology, it was a dream come true: in Ventura, in the USA, she received a prize for the best talk at a prestigious scientific conference for junior researchers. A CiM travel grant for female researchers had made the trip possible.

© CiM - Peter Grewer

15 Minutes for Junior Researchers

It is not only experts from the world of biomedical research who will be speaking at the International CiM Symposium from September 13th to 15th. Eight junior researchers will also be presenting the results of their research. Mandy Großgarten, who is a doctoral student in Chemistry in the CiM research group led by Prof. Uwe Karst, is one of them.

© Robert Meißner, Álvaro Barroso, Christina Alpmann, Cornelia Denz

Biology and Physics

Through CiM, these two disciplines grow closer together

CiM brings together scientists from different disciplines to perform novel multidisciplinary research. Through a so-called pilot project programme, physicist Robert Meißner and biologist Wade Sugden will work together to directly measure the forces in blood flow that affect blood cells and their viscoelasticity. Their collaboration has already produced measurable success.

© CiM - Peter Grewer

Ties Between Science and Clinical Practices

Prof. Dr. Georg Lenz works on treatment approaches to lymph gland cancer

Prof. Dr. Georg Lenz mainly treats patients who suffer from aggressive cancer of the lymphatic glands. But you will not only meet him in the hospital. Prof. Lenz spends a good share of his working time in his laboratory. Holding the first CiM Clinical Translation Professorship he should, wherever possible, directly apply his scientific findings to clinical therapy and take up and intern apply impulses from the clinic to his research.

© WWU - Peter Grewer

"The best ideas come in discussions with others"

At the weekly "BrownBagLunch" of the Cells-in Motion Cluster of Excellence, young researchers exchange ideas on innovative approaches in experimental medicine. The university newspaper 'living|knowledge' now reports on this new network platform. Enjoy reading the original report (in German language).