Mariam Aslanyan, PhD student (Bulgaria)
The funding I received from the Scholarship fund was really essential for me to achieve this.

I came across the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Master’s programme on Google while searching for  international master’s programmes in Molecular Biology offered in Europe. What drew me to MMD was the international environment and the diverse selection of topics combining fundamental research with clinical application.
I already knew that I would like to do a PhD afterwards, so the MMD programme was indeed an excellent choice for me because it gave me the necessary basis.  

I needed some additional funding to support my studies in Nijmegen so Prof. Frans Cremers replied that the Scholarship fund could provide a scholarship for me. The only requirement was that I’d have to do an internship on the topic of blindness since the funding came through a Blindness foundation.

Eventually, the Scholarship fund supported my first year and I was granted a scholarship from the Huygens Scholarship Programme to finance my second year. Now I’m halfway through my PhD project at the Molecular Hematology laboratory where I also did my first internship.

We recently discovered a gene that is implicated in myeloid malignancies. The aim of my project is to determine the clinical impact of the mutations in this gene and unravel its biological function. The initial results of our work were published in Nature Genetics last year. I’m very proud of that.

The funding I received from the Scholarship fund was really essential for me to achieve this. It made it possible for me to come to Nijmegen and really start my career in research. Without it, I might not have had the opportunity to do that!