14 June 2018

My name is Laura Miesen, German, PhD candidate at the Department of Pathology, theme Renal disorders.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your child years.

I think as a child I did not think a lot about what I want to do in the future. However I can remember that there was a period in which I wanted to become a beekeeper. I was inspired by the  apiary “Imkerij Poppendamme” which we visited during our many holidays to zealand. In general, a great part of my childhood I spend outside in nature. I played outside in the garden with friends, my brother and sister, and together with my family I made hikes though the forest and other natural areas where my parents explained at which trees we are looking or which bird was flying just above us. I think during these early experiences with nature my passion for biology was already provoked.

What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why that study? 

I did my bachelor biology at the Radboud University, followed by the master medical biology which I also absolved in Nijmegen. During my high school time I already knew that I wanted to study biology, but I wasn’t sure whether I was more interested in the ecological or medical field of biology. In Nijmegen the bachelor biology includes both fields of biology and in the third year you can choose whether you want to do the more ecological or more medical related courses. This study seemed perfect for me. However I also must admit that the choice for medical biology was made quite early :-). 

The RIMLS motto is: ‘Today’s molecules for tomorrow’s medicine’. What does this mean for you? 

I think the motto clearly reflects the importance of fundamental research. I think it is necessary that everyone understands the importance of research on molecular level. Especially in  “my field”, the “kidney” field I often get the impression that the focus shifts towards more applied research like better dialysis methods and machines. I am actually happy that in this institute fundamental research is supported.

Who is your great example as scientists? And please give a motivation why.

I was always fascinated by the good old Darwin. The journey he made with his Beagle and his steady curiosity to find out more about nature. I still think that he is an inspiringly person.

Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud? 

Hmm.. I think for this I have to wait a bit more :-). 

Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?

A lot of single cell RNAseqs of activated vs non-activated parietal epithelial cells.

What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?

In general my working place looks a bit unorganized as most of the time several small letters with notes surround  my keyboard. In addition when I have to continue work the next day I just leave it in the middle of my table so that I know the next morning that I have to continue with it. So even when it seems a bit chaotic it always fulfils a purpose. There is always my personal order in this notes and papers laying around...perhaps this reflects my personal need to organize and plan everything :-D . In addition I have a small plant and a “shared tea box” on my desk.  I like to have some personal stuff in my working area and as I don’t like any kind of coffee (yes these people can also survive their PhDs J) the tea box is perfect!

Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her?

I nominate Valentyna Kryklyva. Sometimes I am wondering myself how she survives (as an international PhD candidate) working at a department at which the main language is Dutch.

What type of person are you, quick insights:

a) Mac or PC?                                : PC
b) Theater or cinema?                 : Theater
c) Dine out or dine in?                 : Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat?                         : Fiat
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?     : Chocoholic
f) Culture or Nature                     : Nature​ 

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