Annika Starke

Why this profession?

In 2011, I began studying human medicine at the University of Kiel.

I had worked as a midwife for several years and have always been intrigued by the interaction between the gut microbiome and the environment. The way nutrition influences the development of the microbiome and its likely association with illness and health has been of keen interest to me since I noticed the effect of breast feeding vs. artificial milk on a baby’s health.

While studying human medicine, my interest in this topic has grown: I heard a lot about the role of genes, the environment and probably nutrition in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease in the lectures. I am honoured to have been accepted as a doctoral student by Professor Franke’s group at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at the University of Kiel.

Why RTG Genes, Environment and Inflammation?

RTG is a great opportunity for me to learn more about various inflammation-related diseases and several state-of-the-art techniques. In my doctoral thesis I will investigate the gut microbiome of different mammals, especially primates, and compare it to the human gut microbiome, thereby contributing to a better understanding of its composition and development as well as influencing factors. As a medical student, it is a great opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team, which has a lot of experience and offers me great support.