Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.
This week: Simone Sittig
1. Name &
Simone P. Sittig, German
2. When you were a kid
what did you want to be when you grew up?
I loved mathematic riddles and biology. However, for a long time I did not really know what I wanted to become. I was definitely always curious about how things work in the human body. There was the thought of maybe becoming a doctor one day, when science was not yet in the picture.
3. What was your
previous academic training, where did you study?
That is straight forward for my scientific path: I studied 'Medical Biology' in Nijmegen and then went on with the Master of our institute 'Molecular Mechanisms of Disease'. During my master, I did an internship at the Center for Cancer Immune Therapy in Copenhagen.
However, there was a somewhat less straight road before I came to Nijmegen. I studied medicine for one semester directly out of school - at that time not sure whether this was the path that I wanted to follow and research was not yet in the picture. So I pursued a bachelor's degree in business. Say what? Right in business studies! My family owns a business and my idea was join this company. Looking back, it was a somewhat halfhearted decision, not having yet found my true passion. However, this period of time was a very rich one in experiences as I got to study, work and live in Paris, Heidelberg, Madrid and Barcelona.
4. What is your current
function and what would you like to achieve?
I am currently a PhD student at the department of Tumor Immunology at the beginning of my 4th year. My project focuses on primary human dendritic cells subsets. My aim is to understand the functional properties and especially possible differences of these cells to determine the subset best suited for dendritic cell vaccinations of cancer patients.
5. The RIMLS motto is
'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What
does this mean for you?
My goal is to determine which primary DC subset can best do the job when it comes to activating T cells to become potent effector cells even in the inhibitory environment of the tumor. Therefore I would like to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between different cells of the immune system and the tumor.
6. What is the biggest
motivation in your work?
The sense that my work will eventually contribute to making a difference in patient care. This is accompanied by curiosity how things come to work together in an amazing orchestrated way in our body. I would love to unravel some little part of this complex interplay.
7. What is your dream
for the future?
I would love to see dendritic cell-based vaccinations become a therapy for many cancer patients. I hope that in the future the therapy can be applied in several cancer types as a first line treatment or even in a preventive setting. If we can define the criteria by which we can predict which patients will benefit from this therapy, then these patients can profit from this non-toxic therapy which elegantly uses the body's own weapons to
fight malignant cells.
8. Fun-facts. State an
interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with
two that are false? Correct answer will
be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.
A: I like neither pizza nor chocolate, therefore my friends are convinced I must be an alien.
B: I have done all sorts of dancing: ballet, ballroom, jazz, modern, … , but the way I move still reminds my mom of a frog.
C: I guess people might be surprised by the fact that I LOVE zombie and vampire movies.
Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.
Correct answer of Jessie van Buggenum: B
interesting/obscure fact about yourself together
with two that are false?
A: I meditate 5 times per week
B: I create my own words randomly
C: I love to eat Brussels sprouts
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