A Personal Touch of Lotte de Winde

Lotte _Bright _Sparks _Award 2[1]

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: Lotte de Winde






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Lotte de Winde, Dutch, PhD student, Dept. of Tumor Immunology, Theme Cancer development and immune defense,

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years. 
As a kid I wanted to become teacher, stewardess or nurse – so the typical dream jobs you have as a little girl. The latter changed into a more serious idea when I was in high school. I really liked biology, especially the medical-related subjects, so I decided that I wanted to be a medical doctor.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I really wanted to study Medicine, but I was not selected and decided to study Molecular Life Sciences at Maastricht University (NL). During this study the molecular and cellular biology behind diseases really fascinated me. I discovered the fields of immunology and oncology, which stimulated me to think about the use of such a beautiful defense system in our body to tackle cancer. Therefore, I started the Master study Oncology and Developmental Biology and performed my master internships at Tumor Immunology departments in Maastricht (NL) and Antwerp (B). Here, I obtained detailed insight in this field and got even more convinced that we should get a better understanding of our immune system and how we can use it to cure cancer. I am grateful that I got the change to do my PhD in this wonderful research field.

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
There is still a lot we don’t know and I think it is really important to understand the molecular mechanisms behind a disease before we can develop new or improve current therapies. This means we should not only focus on translational research, but also stimulate fundamental research in order to discover novel molecular mechanisms.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
This quote from Marie Curie explains very good what I like about science and why it fascinates me: “A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.”

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
I’m very proud on the study my colleagues and I recently published in Journal of Clinical Investigation where we show that tetraspanin CD37 protects against B cell lymphoma development. 50% of patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma lack CD37 expression on the tumor cells which is directly correlated with worse survival. Furthermore, this study provides new insights to develop novel therapies to target B cell lymphoma.

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
To get more understanding about the way tetraspanins organize the plasma membrane and how and when they interact with their partner proteins, it will be necessary to perform experiments using (live cell) super resolution microscopy. Unfortunately, we don’t have a super resolution imaging set-up at the RIMLS, so with unlimited finance I would buy one.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)? 
When I go home, I organize and empty my desk and lab bench so I can start fresh the next morning. I’m an organized person and this is also reflected in my work; I prepare detailed protocols for every experiment and I can easily find back old data or protocols.

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Michael Valente; what do you miss most about France and what do you like most about The Netherlands?

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or  PC:
b) Theater or Cinema:
Theater (or art-house cinema like LUX)
c) Dine out or dine in: 
Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat:
e) Schopaholic or chocoholic:
f) Culture or Nature:
A good mix of both

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