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: Sami Mohammed
1. Name, nationality, current function & department?
Sami G. Mohammed, Eritrean, PhD student, Dept. of Physiology, theme: Renal disorders.
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?
From a very young age, I have been intrigued by the question “how do things work?” Whether the thing is a radio, a computer or a robot, I was always interested in finding out the ideas behind and the principles involved more than the mechanistic aspects of how to operate the thing. But, despite my natural aptitude for fields like electronics and computer science, later I have realized over the years that my ambition lies within a career in biomedical sciences. Outside school, I have always dreamed of becoming a professional football player, it is never too late!
3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies?
I completed my 5‐year bachelor study in the field of Pharmacy, at the University of Asmara, Eritrea. To satiate my ever-growing interest on how our body works, I sought for a field that combines biology and chemistry, and at that time Pharmacy was the only option. After that I got the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands to pursue my masters study in biomedical science at Radboudumc. Ever since then, I am in love with this beautiful city of Nijmegen.
4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
To savvy the etiology of the world’s challenging disease states like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and so on; we certainly need to look deeper at the molecular mechanisms of diseases. With the advent of molecular biology tools, an organelle that was once considered to be obsolete, turn out to be associated with one of the most common hereditary disease, polycystic kidney disease. This antennal-like sensory organelle protruding from almost every type of cell is called primary cilium. I am excited to learn more about this organelle in relation to electrolyte transport properties of renal epithelial cells. Who knows! This could be “tomorrow’s medicine”.
5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
Well, I don’t really have any specific scientist that I consider a role model. But I deeply admire those scientists who made great discoveries using limited resources and unorthodox methods; and yet barely got recognized to the likes of Charles Darwin. Scientists like Bart Knols are the “Unsung heroes of science”.
6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
In our lab, we are setting up an in-vitro system to simulate the in-vivo situation of fluid flow (i.e. urine flow) in renal tubules. As it is very novel and challenging, every progress I made is a discovery that I am most proud of.
7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?
I would want to know what exactly is the function(s) of primary cilia. Considering the mounting evidence demonstrating the link between primary cilia and several diseases including cancer, situs invertus, polycystic kidney and so on; there is very little knowledge about their function(s) in different organs. Ultimately, this knowledge will further help us understand diseases such as cancer, and hopefully put an end to it. These will require lots of effort and unlimited finance.
8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
I would like to think that my desk is clean and tidy. I use sticky notes a lot; so don’t be surprised to find them flying around my desk. In rare cases, my working place is full of tools, machines, flasks, …etc those are the times when I don’t know exactly what I am doing.
9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her?
I would like to nominate Mohammad Alsady, Question: You claim that Lithium is the “element of Happiness”. What is the recommended dose of Lithium to keep me happy whenever Manchester united FC loses?
10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?:
Mac, recent convert!
b) Theater or cinema?:
c) Dine out or dine in?:
Dine in with traditional food I am yearning for
d) Ferrari or Fiat?:
Neither, but if I have to choose, then Fiat it is.
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?:
Without a doubt Chocoholic
f) Culture or Nature:
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