Get to know the AMPro Scientists!
Each week, we present you one AMPro scientist in more detail. This week...
Katarina's scientific work in one sentence
Understanding the liver-specific metabolic responses in intermittent fasting.
For more information click here.
Highest Level of education: Master of Pharmacy, 2010, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Promotion: 2017, University of Bonn
Actual Position: Post-doctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Stephan Herzig at the Institute for Diabetes and Cancer, HMGU
What is - in your opinion - your best publication?
Klepac K et al (2016): The Gq signalling pathway inhibits brown and beige adipose tissue. Nature Communications. 2016;7:10895. doi:10.1038/ncomms10895
5 questions about research - past, present, future
1. What are your primary tasks and responsibilities in your actual position?
I study the benefits of intermittent fasting in obesity and diabetes using the so-called multiomics approach. My work mostly consists of leading and coordinating experimental studies and analysis of data that I obtain from the collected samples. I also collaborate with clinics, which gives me an insight into how my research can be translated to treating patients. In addition to my own project, I am also mentoring a very talented PhD student, which I enjoy very much.
2. What is it that gives you pleasure and/or satisfaction the most?
What I enjoy the most in my profession is working and collaborating with people, not only within my group but also through external collaborations. I am very lucky to have great colleagues with whom I can exchange ideas and who I can rely on, which always makes the work more enjoyable.
3. Which research question(s) affects you at the moment? What is its social significance?
I believe that the topic I am currently working on, intermittent fasting, is very relevant for the current trends in our society and has gained a huge popularity in the last couple of years. People are interested in how intermittent fasting works, and many are trying out fasting methods themselves. I hope that my research will answer some of those questions and contribute to understanding the mechanisms of fasting.
4. Which publication influenced you the most?
Here I would rather mention a book which I am currently reading: “Gene Eating: The science of obesity and the truth about diets”, written by a renowned geneticist Giles Yeo. In his book, which is intended for the general public, he explains to what degree genes affect the way we look in terms of body weight and shape (a lot more than I thought!), and explores whether there is any truth to all these special diets the social media and lifestyle gurus are selling us. I admire greatly the scientists who are able to communicate science well to the general public, which has become extremely important in this “post-truth” time, especially when it comes to dieting and losing weight.
5. What do you like most about AMPro? What are your particular plans within the collaboration?
I am very happy to be a part of AMPro, in particular due to its interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of the topics dealing with aging and metabolic reprogramming. I am also fond of AMPro meetings, which bring scientists from many different labs together and allow us to exchange knowledge and expertise from diverse fields.
4 questions beyond research
1. What are your experiences with reconciliation of family or private and working life?
The boundaries between my personal and working life are often very blurry, and I like it that way. Science is not only my profession, but also my passion and hobby, and flexible working style that our Institute allows suits me quite well.
2. What is the experience during your PhD you will remember all your life?
The amazing people with whom I was sharing great memories and tough moments of my PhD. It made my PhD experience special and formed lifetime friendships.
3. What are your hobbies?
Lately I´ve been really enjoying doing yoga, reading and playing video games (when I find time). One year ago, I also adopted two cats, Billie and Ollie, who make my every day just a bit more enjoyable.
4. What is your favorite color, season and/or football (or other sports) club?
My favorite season is definitely summer. I am one of those people who are always cold, so I prefer the summer temperatures, preferably on one of the beautiful beaches in my home country Croatia.