Welcome to the second instalment of our weekly Meet the Fellows series. Here we get to meet Adrien Boussebayle!


What does your lab do? What is a brief description of the project you work on? What is your background in science (and otherwise)? Why are you motivated to work on this topic? What do you hope to accomplish during your PhD?

The truth is, when I finished high school, I didn’t think I would go so far in my studies. I first did a technical university diploma for two years in biological engineering. Seeing that biology is complex and very interesting at the same time, I decided to continue studying in a BSc in Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology. Then I accomplished a Master degree in biochemistry and chemical biology. What I really liked during my studies, is that I could have a good overview of all the different field related to biology, either on the chemical/physical interface during my Master, or on the molecular biology and in vivo part during my Bachelor’s.

Currently I am at the TU Darmstadt in a lab working on synthetic RNA biology, and I am working on the development of new aptamers and riboswitches.

What led you to decide to do a PhD?

After several internships in different laboratories, I realized that I liked working in the lab and I was passionate about science. Furthermore, the life of PhD student is perfect for me. A PhD student has to be independent, a hard worker and also passionate about its work which is fitting to my personality.

“A PhD student has to be independent, a hard worker and also passionate”


An ITN is about international collaboration – what has your experience been so far in living in a country that is, perhaps, quite different from your own? What are some tips you would give to new PhD students (or students in general) who are moving to a different country?

It is my first experience of living in another country, but if I had one tip to give, you must know the basics of the language of your host country. It can be a real advantage but it’s not mandatory (when I came to Germany I didn’t know a word about German). This is something you can prepare before your departure. And also keep your motivation, going abroad is not an easy way but it’s very important that you keep your motivation to never give up.


It hasn’t been that long since we were interviewing for PhDs; what are some pointers you would give to students looking for a PhD to do during their undergraduate or Master’s?

Choose your subject very carefully. You will have to work at least 3 years on this subject. Also, inquire on the lab you will work with. Working with nice colleagues and a good supervisor will make your work much more pleasant.


What are your short-term and long-term career goals (aka, what do you want to be “when you grow up” 😉 )?

My short-term goals are understanding German and be totally independent in my project.

My long-term goals are, of course, complete my PhD in the best way possible and decide if I want to continue in an academic pathway or in the industrial way.


What do you like to do for fun (outside of science, of course)?

Sports (Basketball, running, squash, fitness…) and try German specialities.


What is your favourite food?

French food obviously

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s