Today we hear from Adam Mol, who is working in Beatrix Suess’ lab at TU Darmstadt, Germany!
What is your background in science (and otherwise)? What led you to decide to do a PhD?
I completed my studies in the field of Biotechnology at the University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland. My master project was carried out in the Department of Genetics where I was working in plant genetics. This research was related to drought resistance in cereal crops. My work there allows me expand my knowledge about molecular biology and piqued my interest of Science. This experience gave me a great opportunity to enter into real scientific life for what I would like to thank my advisors Prof. Mirosław Małuszynski and Dr. Agata Daszkowska-Golec.
Next as a graduate student I have been continuing my scientific carrier as a member of Vilardell’s lab at the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB), Barcelona, Spain. I have been investigating research related to alternative splicing in human cells. My work at IBMB was very important step in my scientific carrier which gives me opportunity to improve both my theoretical and experimental knowledge about biomedicine.
And now I am convinced that I would like to continue my scientific interests as a PhD student.
What does your lab do? What is a brief description of the project you work on?
Currently I do my doctoral studies at Synthetic RNA Biology group headed by Prof. Beatrix Suess at Technical University of Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany. A main focus of our research is the development of active aptamers. The group has very good background in in vitro selection of aptamers as well good establish in vivo screening system. Also we try to find application of aptamers as synthetic riboswitches. Second focus in our group is related to disease. We work with natural regulatory RNA: siRNA in bacteria, microRNA in inflammations as well with alternative splicing in hypoxia.
My research project is related to selection in vivo active apatmers. Cellular environment may influence the structure and function of RNA molecules. Therefore, appropriate screening systems are important to identify RNA aptamers with riboswitch function. In this project, we will develop screening systems for different organisms to optimize RNA-based flux sensors.
Why are you motivated to work on this topic? What do you hope to accomplish during your PhD?
I am motivated to work on this topic because the project interface between RNA biology and metabolism which covers the rang of my scientific interests. I am interested in this project in view of multidisciplinary performed range of expertise. I consider this to be necessary for an advanced study. At Suess’ group as well others MetaRNA’s groups I have the opportunity to work with experienced scientists from many different backgrounds and I will be able to learn different assays and techniques from them. I consider that now I have excellent opportunity to use all my scientific experience to make a step forward in my scientific development by being a member of MetaRNA’s international groups. Moreover, the Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN is an extremely prestigious and competitive fellowship. Therefore, I strongly believe that the PhD student position at the MetaRNA program will enable me to get professional development and be excellent prepared for future scientific work.
What are your short-term and long-term career goals (aka, what do you want to be “when you grow up” 😉 )?
At this moment I love to stay in science… but we will see what the future brings!
For my short-term goals I could include: get a doctoral degree! publish in Nature or Science! 🙂 also I would like to learn German and French languages.
As a long-term career goal: win a Nobel Prize! ;D
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?
This is it what I like in our ITN program. We have contact with international people and I love to meet new people and get to know about their cultures. I am Polish and living in Germany is not so different from my country. Generally, the weather, people, culture seems to be very similar to each other. But I could say you can “feel in the air” the German “Ordnung” mostly with the bureaucracy! So what I could recommend other students that move to Germany or other country BE PATIENT! with all necessary paperwork. Some things are possible to realize only after a few weeks or even months… Also be prepared for that first month in a new place is associated with many stresses as well as financial expenses.
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?
I consider that the choice of PhD is extremely affected by the people we encountered during our education. It is very easy to discourage young student to education. Luckily, I met a wise and right people during my career (now I think among others about Dr. Mary-Paz González García, thank you for all! <3) and now I realize my plans related with Life Sciences.
I my opinion PhD is strongly associated with stress and overwork! Therefore, choosing the right research group for a PhD is very important due to the fact that you will spend working there the next three (or even more) years. If you want to know something more about a research group, do not be afraid to ask for opinions of those working in it. What I could advise all students thinking about PhD in the future that during your education try to take a few practices from various disciplines to find out what interests you and better to acquaint with the laboratory work.
What do you like to do for fun (outside of science, of course)?
Drink vermut 😀 and practice sports
What is your favorite food?
My cuisine! 😉 because I cook always what I like it! (and I am vegetarian!)