Spotlight: IMPRS-IDI applicants

Get to know this years' graduate school applicants

January 29, 2020
Once again, candidates from all over the world applied for a PhD position at the IMPRS-IDI. To select suitable candidates, the IMPRS-IDI organized an Assessment Week. During this week, the candidates presented their scientific work and got to know the institute and its research groups. At the same time, Nele Klaiber (a 10th grade student at the Georg-Herwegh-Gymnasium) did her internship at the communication team of the MPIIB. In the interview, Nele asked candidates why they applied to the IMPRS-IDI, whether they always wanted to become scientists and if they have role models in science.

Niranjan Srikanth: I’m investing in the future

Niranjan was born in India and raised in Dubai. He studied nanotechnology and did his master in Germany where he focused on biophysics. Now Niranjan decided to apply for the IMPRS-IDI graduate school at the MPIIB.

Why did you apply to the IMPRS-IDI graduate school?

I first came across the IMPRS-IDI, when I read about Marcus Taylor’s lab. His work really fascinated me because he uses microscopes in a very unique way and I think his method will become more common place. You could say I am investing in the future.

Was it always your dream to do something with Biology?

It was never my dream to have a scientific job – I just liked science. When I was small, I thought more about going in a mechanical direction, but when I did my master, I often saw cells under a microscope. It really amazed me that there is a whole world – we can´t see it with the bare eye, but we can control it. This got me more and more interested in biology. I guess that’s how I ended up here.

Do you have an idol in science?

No, not really. I am very impressed by many people's work but I´m not trying to become like that person.

Vanessa Krémer: Following the reputation

Vanessa applied for the IMPRS-IDI aswell. She was born in Munich, but lives and works in Paris. After studying biology and chemistry, she completed her Masters in molecular life science with a focus on immunology.

Why did you apply to the IMPRS-IDI Graduate School?

The good reputation precedes the MPIIB. I think it is important to be international – that's why I did many internships abroad. The institute fulfils this point completely.

Was it your childhood dream to become a scientist?

When I was a child, I told everyone that I wanted to become a scientist. However, for a long time I wasn't sure in which direction I should go. I started with neuroscience and then I wanted to go into toxicology. Now I have ended up in immunology and I am very happy with it.

Do you have any scientific role models?

I think I pay a lot of respect to many discoveries, but I don't have a particular person as a role model.

Martin Kampmann: The right decision

Martin has also applied for a PhD position at the IMPRS-IDI. Having grown up in Marburg, he is now attending Heidelberg University where he studies biology with a focus on infectious diseases. He is currently finishing his master's thesis on HIV integration in Microglia.

Why did you apply here at the IMPRS-IDI Graduate School?

Towards the end of a master's degree, you naturally look around for options in your field. The MPIIB has a good reputation and some of my friends are or have been here. So I heard about the institute early on. The various project descriptions then directly caught my interest. That’s why I applied to the IMPRS-IDI.

Have you always wanted to study biology or did you realize that with time?
For a long time I was not sure what job I wanted to have later on. At school, for example, I took biology and history as advanced courses. After finishing high school, I applied for all kinds of university courses from sociology to physics. In the end, I decided on biology relatively unprepared – you have to choose something. Now I’m sure that biology was the right decision.

Do you have any scientific role models?

Of course, there are people I admire, like Marie Curie (a physicist and Nobel Prize winner who coined the term radioactivity) or people who have simply done an exciting project. But I am not trying to emulate anyone.

The interviews were conducted by Nele Klaiber

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