What is your role at MCRI? 

I recently completed my PhD candidature and will now continue as a postdoctoral researcher in the Heart Regeneration group working on drug discovery. 

Tell us about your journey in getting to where you are today as a researcher here at MCRI? 

I am originally from Germany where I studied molecular and developmental biology at the University of Heidelberg. In 2016 I came to Australia and joined MCRI as an intern to learn about the heart. I really enjoyed my time here at MCRI and fell in love with Melbourne, this led to my decision to start a PhD at the institute working on congenital heart diseases.  

What research are you undertaking here at the MCRI and what you are hoping to make possible for children & families through the work that you're doing?  

My work focuses on the discovery of new therapies which prevent heart damage during chemotherapy. 

Some cancer survivors treated with chemotherapeutic agents may develop heart problems throughout their life. My project aims to reduce these cardiotoxic side effects using stem-cell-derived models of the heart. We use this model to screen for cardioprotective compounds to reduce damage to the heart during chemotherapy.  

What excites you most about working in this field/child health? 

I love the problem solving and the creativity that comes with the job of a researcher. It is a great feeling when you realise your hypothesis is correct and you have discovered something new. I get excited about finding answers to problems that will ultimately lead to the improvement of many children's lives. 

Any career highlights? 

The most recent highlight for me was finally submitting my PhD after years of hard work. It was highly rewarding to see the end of a project I have managed for almost four years.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of MCRI? 

I am a very outdoorsy person and so when I have the opportunity, I like to go hiking and travelling with my partner and our dog. If I am not outside enjoying nature, you will probably find me trying out the latest restaurants in Melbourne with my friends.