Get to know the AMPro Scientists!

Biweekly, we present you one AMPro scientist in more detail. This time...

Damián Carvajal Ibáñez

Damián's scientific work in one sentence

Assessing the mechanisms underlying neural stem cell activation and differentiation in the adult mammalian brain

For more information click here.

Short CV

Highest Level of education: M.Sc., 2018, Universität Heidelberg
Current Position: Doctoral Researcher, DKFZ

What is - in your opinion - your best publication?

Baser A., Skabkin M., Kleber S., Dang Y., Gülcüler Balta G.S., Kalamakis G., Göpferich M., Carvajal Ibañez D., et al. (2019). Onset of differentiation is post-transcriptionally controlled in adult neural stem cells. Nature 566, 100–104.

What is your most important prize and membership?

Prize: Outstanding Poster (7th Young Scientist Retreat SFB 873, 2019)
Memberships: GSCN (German Stem Cell Network), Elected Doctoral Researcher’s Representative (PhD Council 2020, DKFZ)

5 questions about research - past, present, future

1. What are your primary tasks and responsibilities in your actual position?
Design and perform experiments, analyze results and think the data critically, supervise students and organize journal clubs & other events.

2. What is it that gives you pleasure and/or satisfaction the most?
Achieving results from an experiment designed in our lab, after overcoming difficulties or testing several optimizations. Especially, knowing that this will in the future help other colleagues.

3. Which research question(s) affects you at the moment? What is its social significance?
How is adult neurogenesis regulated in the mammalian brain? What is its relevance to ageing and injury?
Adult neurogenesis is affected upon ageing and most of its consequences are yet not fully understood. Briefly, there are reports supporting a relation between this and defects in memory, depression and Alzheimer’s disease, within others.

4. Which publication influenced you the most?
It’s difficult to choose one, but due to the medical relevance that it added to the field: Moreno-Jiménez E.P., et al. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is abundant in neurologically healthy subjects and drops sharply in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Nat Med 25, 554–560 (2019).

5. What do you like most about AMPro? What are your particular plans within the collaboration?
The way scientists from various fields and working with different organ models are joined together by the aim to research about ageing and metabolism. It also promotes close interaction between all scientists regardless of their level of education, which already served to receive very valuable feedback about my research line.

5 questions beyond research

1. What are your experiences with reconciliation of family or private and working life?
I think having a good private/working balance is essential for the success of the PhD and the mental health of doctoral researchers. The PhD is a stressful period but still one where big responsibilities such as kids are normally not present. For me, this is a good opportunity to define and establish a balance that suits me for my future as well.

2. What is the experience during your PhD you will remember all your life?
I am still building these experiences, but most likely the colleagues I am making on the way and the time I am spending with them inside and outside work.

3. Which book and/or movie has lately affected you the most?
A plastic ocean (2016) although not the most updated one, it gives an informative view of the effect of massive use of plastic and pollution in the oceans.
The endless trench (2019) is a Spanish film addressing the consequences of the Civil war and the secrets families had to hide from society to keep them and their relatives safe for decades.

4. What are your hobbies?
I enjoy doing sports, travelling, spending my free time with friends and family and listening to music.

5. What is your favorite color, season and/or football (or other sports) club?
My favorite color is blue and my favorite season is Summer (specially if on the seaside).