Kathrin Schäfer

Consolidated Researcher Details:

Why this profession?

Since primary school I have been fascinated by biology and nature. During my studies I developed a strong interest in microbiology, because it is a highly diverse field and microorganisms, invisible to the normal eye, have a strong impact on every organism and the environment. I was working primarily with marine environmental samples during my master thesis, but I felt an intrinsic motivation to change fields for my doctoral thesis. I wanted to work in the field of medical microbiology, so that my research can be used to help understand the influence of bacteria during an illness and eventually improve the course of a disease. Since the gut is a central component for a person’s health and inflammatory bowel disease is associated with complications and also influences the patient’s life negatively, this topic aroused my interest. An effective research approach might be the cultivation of various gut bacteria under different conditions and thus discussing their influence on this disease and the host. In this project, I am able to use the skills I have already acquired, and I hope to gain new knowledge and methods during my stay.

Why RTG Genes, Environment and Inflammation?

By uniting different scientific fields, interdisciplinary experiences help to establish a more comprehensive overview of a scientific task. Because every topic in science and medicine is interconnected, joining a research training group can be a great occasion to get insights into other interesting projects and ultimately in getting inspiration for one’s own research. This research training group opens up opportunities for me to make contacts and collaborations with other students and researchers. Through the training group, I hope to get support and ideas for my own project since other researchers can have different points of view and hence provide the means to think outside the box.