A Personal Touch of Iris Hagemans

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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:  Iris Hagemans






1. Name, nationality, current function & department?
Iris Hagemans, Dutch, PhD Student at the 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?
I changed my mind a lot about what I wanted to become throughout my life, not just when I was a kid ;) I even switched studies twice. There are many things I find interesting and as a kid, I had a lot of hobbies, involving sports (gymnastics, tennis, athletics), drawing, making all sorts of stuff with all kinds of materials, music (I played the piano since I was 5), reading and playing outside a lot.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I have a propedeuse in Psychology and in Molecular Life Sciences, and a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. I did the first three things here at the Radboud University. As I said, there were a lot of things I found interesting and I even took courses in math and physics. However, my attention was drawn when I did a course on DNA and genetic modification. That’s why I decided to study MLS, but later I figured that chemistry had a lot of interesting courses too so in my third year I took a lot of MLS courses and ended up being a bit of a chemist and a bit of a molecular life scientist. My Master’s I took in Leiden.

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
For me, chemistry becomes interesting when it has an application ‘in real life’. For me, the most interesting projects are projects where you can combine chemistry and molecular biology, or projects that aim at answering a fundamental question in molecular biology. I like my project because it aims at the development of a new therapy. For me, that means it’s relevant, not just in a scientific context but also in a ‘real life’ context.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
Ooh, difficult one. Maybe Walter White, he made a lot of money and is totally badass. Or Dexter, he had his own lab.

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud? 
Well, I haven’t really made any big discoveries yet, but I think what we’re doing in our lab is quite cool, as we are combining chemistry and genetics to develop new vaccines. Pretty awesome.

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
About expensive experiments, no idea. But I do know what instrument I would like to have: a magical peptide solubilizer. I synthesize a lot of peptides, and if something existed that would magically help any peptide dissolve in the blink of an eye, that would be really helpful and save me a lot of headaches. It would also make me a lot more productive.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
I want it to be organized, but it isn’t always the case. There’s usually a lot of spectra and chromatograms lying around.

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Felix Fenneman, he’s new in our department!

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?:
PC at work, Mac at home.
b) Theater or cinema?:
c) Dine out or dine in?:
Dine in (I love cooking)
d) Ferrari or Fiat?:
Fiat (don’t like to spend a lot of money on a car)
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?:
f) Culture or Nature:

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