My name is Lise Ripken, I am Dutch and I am a PhD candidate at the department of Cell Biology in the myotonic dystrophy group, which currently belongs to the theme Nanomedicine.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your child years.When I was really young, I wanted to become a clown, so I could make people laugh and brighten up their day. I soon realized that a lot of people are actually afraid of clowns and therefore, I wanted to help people in another way by becoming a physician. I like to interact with people, help them to understand their problem and solve their problems. Dealing with blood however, was never my strongest point, so I decided to take one step away from medicine and become a researcher.
What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why that study?Since I was interested in how human bodies work in health and disease, I decided to study biology here in Nijmegen at the science faculty. Although I could have chosen for biomedical sciences, I wanted to have a broader background and also follow courses like plant physiology and microbiology. As a follow-up, I got accepted for the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease master also here in Nijmegen at the Medical faculty. In this challenging master, they fully prepare you for the academic world, so this was the perfect choice for me to pursue my career as a researcher.
The RIMLS motto is: ‘Today’s molecules for tomorrow’s medicine’. What does this mean for you?My PhD project does not involve the testing of new molecules or therapies, however I can relate to the motto in a more general perspective. I am working on new cell models for the rare disease myotonic dystrophy to elucidate its complex pathogenesis. Since Nijmegen is one of the hospitals specialized in this neuromuscular disease, the link between the researcher and the clinicians and patients is really short. Our findings can directly be linked to the symptoms of patients seen in the clinic.
Who is your great example as scientists? And please give a motivation why.One of the great scientist whose ideas are important for my project is Paracelsus. Although extremely controversial at times, he was a critical scientist, who made up his own theories about the world surrounding him. His famous citation: “the dose makes the poison”, was not well received by colleague scientists, but is currently still important for the toxicology field and still applies for everyday life (the human body, medicine, the environment).
Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?In the past year of my PhD, I did not made major discoveries yet. Hopefully, this will come soon in the future.
Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?The generation of new cell models to study diseases is extremely labour intensive, however they are more accurate than the current mice models. With unlimited finances, which in general equals time in research, I would improve the current cell models and develop the organ-on-a-chip technology further to have an as biomimetic and humanized model as possible. This would improve the knowledge on complex diseases and benefit the patients.
What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?My desk is an organized chaos, if I have to describe it. It is in general mirroring the things I am working on at that moment, which is sometimes more crowded than other times.
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
Related news items
RIMLS award ceremony proudly presenting the winners16 January 2020
Several RIMLS researchers received an award and bonus during the New Year's drinks. See all photo's and the ENABLE aftermovie.read more
Stofwisselkracht grant for Daan Panneman and Richard Rodenburg16 January 2020
Daan Panneman & Richard Rodenburg have been awarded a Stofwisselkracht grant for their proposal “CRISPR/Cas9 knock-in complementation in fibroblasts of mitochondrial disease patients”. Together with Omar Tutakhel & Jan Smeitink they will investigate the possibility of using CRISPR/Cas9 knock-in.read more
Radboud Talks 2020 scientific pitch competition14 January 2020
The next edition of Radboud Talks will take place in the spring. During this academic pitch competition, young researchers will be given the opportunity to share their stories with a large audience. In a three-minute presentation, you will talk about your research in a fun and accessible manner.read more
Rubicon Grant for Sami Mohammed14 January 2020
Former RIMLS researcher Sami Mohammed, theme Renal disorders, received a Rubicon Grant from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The Rubicon program gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.read more
Review Sanne Frambach accepted by Pharmacological Reviews13 January 2020
In this review entitled 'Brothers in arms: ABCA1 and ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux as promising targets in cardiovascular disease treatment', RIMLS researcher Sanne Frambach, describe the possibilities for stimulating cellular efflux.read more
p120-catenin-dependent collective brain infiltration by glioma cell networks7 January 2020
Pavlo Gritsenko and Peter Friedl, theme Cancer development and immune defense, report in Nature Cell Biology, that glioma cells infiltrate the brain by a collective network mechanism, which critically depends on p120 catenin. p120 thus represents a potential target to combat glioma.read more