Julia's scientific work in one sentence
Understanding the role of T cells in the context of cancer cachexia and ageing.
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University Studies: Master of Science, Technical University of Munich
Current Position: PhD student
What is - in your opinion - your best publication?
So far, I have only one publication from my Master’s project:
Konrad Fischer, Beate Rieblinger, Rabea Hein, Riccardo Sfriso, Julia Zuber, Andrea Fischer, Bernhard Klinger, Wei Liang, Krzysztof Flisikowski, Mayuko Kurome, Valeri Zakhartchenko, Barbara Kessler, Eckhard Wolf, Robert Rieben, Reinhard Schwinzer, Alexander Kind, Angelika Schnieke: Viable pigs after simultaneous inactivation of porcine MHC class I and three xenoreactive antigen genes GGTA1, CMAH and B4GALNT2. Xenotransplantation. 2019 Oct, Volume 27, Issue 1.
5 questions about research - past, present, future
1. What are your primary tasks and responsibilities in your actual position?
As a PhD student, I primarily do experiments in the lab and evaluate the results afterwards. Of course, paper reading, planning of experiments and discussions with my supervisor and colleagues also play an important role in my daily work.
2. What is it that gives you pleasure and/or satisfaction the most?
It really motivates me to know that I am part of a research community that one day hopefully will be able to find a treatment for people suffering from cancer-associated cachexia – thus, I am always excited when I investigate something that was unknown to date, and that might have an impact in the future.
Furthermore, I enjoy working in a team – it is great to see how all the different study backgrounds from several scientists lead to an interdisciplinary field resulting in interesting ideas. I am lucky to have great colleagues, with which I can share thoughts, discuss strategies, and do experiments together.
3. Which research question(s) affects you at the moment? What is its social significance?
I am interested in the role the immune system plays in cancer-associated wasting. Cancer-associated cachexia is a multifactorial wasting disease that affects a large percentage of cancer patients, and up to 30 % of them die due to wasting-associated complications. Unfortunately, there is no defined standard of care available to counteract cachexia to date. The role of the immune system, especially T cells, is not much investigated in this context. Questions such as if metabolic reprogramming, which affects many organs during the evolution of cancer cachexia, also changes T cell metabolism, or the identification of novel ways to target cachexia, intrigue me the most.
4. Which publication influenced you the most?
It is hard for me to name one particular publication, as I have learned a lot from various exciting papers. However, if I had to choose one, I would probably name: Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation, by D.Hanahan & R Weinberg, Cell 2014, which I have read for the first time during my bachelor’s studies. It was one of the first influences driving me into cancer research.
5. What do you like most about AMPro? What are your particular plans within the collaboration?
I especially like the interdisciplinary and collaborative mindset within the AMPro community, that connects scientists from different fields to exchange knowledge and discuss ideas. In particular, the AMPro summer school last year was nice as we got to know each other in person, and together could evolve and review projects and ideas.
5 questions beyond research
1. What is the experience during your PhD you will remember all your life?
It will probably be the great people that I met during my PhD, which have already become close friends of mine.
2. What are your hobbies?
I love to do all different kinds of sports (tennis, mountain biking, skiing, swimming), to travel, meet friends or read a good book.
3. What is your favorite color, season and/or football (or other sports) club?
My favorite color is blue, and my favorite season is spring. I love this time of the year, when the short and cold winter days start becoming longer and brighter, the birds begin singing and the flowers start blooming. My favorite football club is FC Bayern München.