Maria's scientific work in one sentence
Understanding the molecular basis of metabolic dysfunction in cancer and metabolic diseases
For more information click here.
Highest Level of education: Diploma in Biology, 2009, University of Heidelberg
Promotion: 2012, University of Heidelberg
Actual Position: Junior Group Leader "Division Tissue Crosstalk in Cancer Metabolism", HMGU Munich
What are - in your opinion - your best publications?
Haythorne and Rohm et al. Nature Communications 2019, Diabetes causes marked inhibition of mitochondrial metabolism in pancreatic beta-cells
Rohm et al. Nature Medicine 2016, An AMP-activated protein kinase stabilizing peptide ameliorates adipose tissue wasting in cancer cachexia in mice
Rohm et al. Cell Metabolism 2013, Transcriptional co-factor TBLR1 controls lipid mobilization in white adipose tissue
What are your most important prizes?
Lipidology award 2019
Novo Nordisk fellowship 2015
DDG and DGE research prizes 2013
5 questions about research - past, present, future
1. What are your primary tasks and responsibilities in your actual position?
Three parts: Science management, science and admin. Management is the biggest point, including grant writing, paper writing, project supervision, revision/editing of manuscripts and grant applications, and participation in workshops or conferences. I am also still doing benchwork and run experiments myself. Lastly, I interact with various administrative sites to ensure smooth running of the scientific projects.
2. What is it that gives you pleasure and/or satisfaction the most?
I love most when pieces finally fall together. When after months of work, this last bit of information brings everything else in the right perspective. Be it a Western Blot in the lab or finding a new, relevant piece of information when writing a proposal or paper.
3. Which research question(s) affects you at the moment? What is its social significance?
I am currently most intrigued by the question how cancer-associated wasting happens, and how we can stop it. A large percentage of patients with cancer suffers from cachexia, and up to 30% of them die due to the wasting-associated complications. In short, patients lose weight, and nothing can stop it. How energy is lost, how and where metabolic reprogramming occurs, and how we can identify novel ways to target cachexia, are my major research questions.
4. Which publication influenced you the most?
The “bible” of my PhD and everything a good paper should be: Perissi V, Scafoglio C, Zhang J, Ohgi KA, Rose DW, Glass CK, Rosenfeld MG. TBL1 and TBLR1 phosphorylation on regulated gene promoters overcomes dual CtBP and NCoR/SMRT transcriptional repression checkpoints. Mol Cell. 2008 Mar 28;29(6):755-66. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.01.020. PMID: 18374649
5. What do you like most about AMPro? What are your particular plans within the collaboration?
I particularly like the collaborative mindset within the AMPro community, with people actively looking for synergies between projects, groups, and research centers. With our joint PhD project between the HMGU and the DKFZ we aim at approaching our research question from two different angles, metabolism and cancer, complementing each other's research expertise.
5 questions beyond research
1. What are your experiences with reconciliation of family or private and working life?
Work life “balance” is sometimes not very balanced. But one extremely helpful aspect of my work is the flexible work hours and possibility to do home office when needed. This allows for some flexibility, for example when my son is sick.
2. What is the experience during your PhD you will remember all your life?
Working in 3sqm with 4 computers - and 10 other girls. This forms ties for a lifetime, and extremely improves organizational skills
3. Which book and/or movie has lately affected you the most?
“The sudden appearance of Hope” by Catherine Webb.
This book is about the interwoven stories of the life of Hope, a girl nobody can remember, and the societal consequences of “Perfection”, a life style app monitoring all aspects of your life to make you a more perfect person.
4. What are your hobbies?
Fantasy of all kinds (books, cinema, TV), snowboarding, hiking and camping, baking
5. What is your favorite color, season and/or football (or other sports) club?
I love all colors, the more the better, and therefore particularly enjoy spring, when nature becomes colorful once again. The first-of-the-year ice cream or beer in a beer garden always tastes best.