Here, you get a first tiny introduction to our new fellows in 2022!
Ruxandra: A pharmacist investigating the spread and development of legalised synthetic drugs
I am Ruxandra from Romania, and love sunny weather and travelling. I am a pharmacist with research interests in Analytical Chemistry. Among my PhD research stays abroad the experience in Münster was the most enjoyable and productive. And now I am glad to have the chance to be back here!
My research topic involves developing additional analytical techniques for identifying, characterising and quantifying synthetic drugs and their metabolites. Sold as allegedly legal alternatives, these compounds quickly spread to worldwide use and increased in structural complexity, and are now a life-threatening issue.
Fun fact: when you tell people you are doing research in chemistry they typically complain about how much they hated it in high school, however when you tell them you work with synthetic drugs many suddenly become interested in the topic.
Nieves: Figuring out how our brains and bodies tick with emotion
¡Hola! My name is Nieves, I’m from Spain, and I’m a psychologist. For many years now, I have been interested in understanding human behaviour and brain functioning (the most exciting organ that we have!). That’s why I started to study psychology. During my degree, I realised that I wanted to know more about emotions, which are very important to our normal and pathological behaviour, so I decided to start my doctoral thesis.
My research career focuses on the study of human emotions and emotion regulation. Particularly, I’m really interested in understanding what happens in our brain and our body when we feel and regulate emotions. During my stay in Münster I will have the opportunity to learn and use techniques that are new to me, such as the magnetoencephalography (a highly advanced neuroimaging technique) or the transcranial direct current stimulation (a neuromodulation technique).
Fun fact: My friends usually tell me that I have a power to analyse situations and people. Interestingly, I am often right with my predictions! Has studying psychology given me this “power”?
Arianna: What skincare and cancer research have in common
Hello to everyone! My name is Arianna, I’m from Italy and I’m a biologist. I have always been a curious and ambitious person – exploring and finding new things has always been fascinating to me. Being a scientist perfectly fits this side of me. I love the concept of starting from an idea and then validate or even invalidate that hypothesis.
I’ve always been involved in cancer research, starting from my master’s degree education, which focused, indeed, on cancer biology. My actual research explores the connection between hyaluronic acid and the aggressiveness of breast cancer. And if you are questioning this, yes: hyaluronic acid is not only a good friend for your skin and wrinkles!
Why cancer research? Because it is fascinating, challenging and offers plenty of opportunities. What’s more, working in a research area that has the potential to make the lives of so many people better is a big positive aspect, even though my effort is still only a small part in comparison to the great demand of answers that cancer research inquires.
Fun fact: I am a cold weather lover, but Münster is testing me a lot!
Yuchen: Physicist investigating shape memory alloys
Dobrý den! This is Yuchen from Prague, Czechia. I am a physicist working in the field of shape memory alloys. If we take a shape memory alloy, bend it, twist it, shape it, it will be capable of returning to its original shape. The “nature” how it works depends on the collective behavior of many small mineral grains in the alloy, which link microscopic changes to the bulk behavior.
As a physicist, my job is to investigate, understand and interpret what the “nature” wants to communicate with its observer. But how can people make the “nature” talk? We use our special languages :-), e.g. in my work, electron/neutron/(synchrotron) X-ray are used to “communicate with the nature”.
Fun fact: shape memory alloys have their own “tempers”. That is to say, they behave differently if composition, thermo-mechanical processing etc. vary. It is also my job to explore & modify their “tempers” in order to optimize their mechanical behaviors for various engineering uses.
Louise: A chemist researching and building a new multi-purpose fluorinated molecule
Bonjour! I am Louise, a French girl starting her new research project in Chemistry in the city of Münster!
The goal of my research is to build new small, but complex and elegant fluorinated molecules. Although I am doing fundamental research, these new fluorinated molecules could be used in the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and material science industries!
Fun Fact: I love to try new things and to seek discomfort! For example, I am afraid of heights, so I am learning bouldering. My PhD’s research mainly focused on metallocatalysis, so I am now doing a post-doc on a subject where no metals are used! For me, research is more than making scientific discoveries and exploring new fields, it is also about discovering new things about yourself!