A personal touch of Jorieke Weiden

Weiden, Jorieke.jpg

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: Jorieke Weiden






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Jorieke Weiden, Dutch, PhD candidate at the department of Tumour Immunology, theme Cancer development and immune defence 

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your child years. 
I grew up in Hengelo (in Twente) with my parents, twin sister and older sister. My ideas about what I wanted to become changed a lot from time to time as I liked a lot of different things and generally have a hard time making up my mind. The main criterion was to do something to help other people or society, therefore things that crossed my mind were teacher or doctor. 

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why that study? 
I studied Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. In my master I focused on oncology and immunology and I performed internships at Newcastle University, the NKI in Amsterdam and the RIMLS. I chose Biomedical Sciences because I was interested in medicine and biology but I did not want to become a medical doctor. Instead I was more interested in finding out in depth how the body works. Since I had a broad interest in medical sciences and I (at that time) most definitely did not want to end up in the lab, I chose Biomedical Sciences since you can do many different things with it. Over the years and thanks to my internships I found out that working in the lab is actually very fun!

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you? 
To me it means that gaining more insight in the mechanisms underlying certain diseases or biological phenomena opens up new possibilities and is critical for the development of new therapeutic interventions. 

5. Who is your great example as scientists? And please give a motivation why.
I think science is filled with great scientists of all levels that are enthusiastic about their work, so it is a great environment to work in. More specifically I am intrigued by scientists that have made discoveries through serendipity, by combining interesting observations with an inquisitive mind (e.g. the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Flemming) 

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud? 
I was very lucky to have worked on a inspiring project during my internship in Amsterdam, resulting in a co-authorship on a Nature paper. Now I hope that it will be the first of many and not the last one. 

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?
I am currently developing three-dimensional scaffolds that can boost the anti-tumour immune response either by delivering potent immune cells or by recruiting immune cells in situ and activating them, a very promising and relatively new field. With unlimited finance I would invest in the development of this field and combining it with other cancer immunotherapies so that cancer patients can hopefully benefit from it in the near future.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
My desk is filled with little yellow post-its with remarks and a large agenda, which demonstrates that I like to plan and try to keep my thoughts organized. Although after a busy week it can also be completely cluttered. 

9. You are nominated by Guido van Mierlo. What is your answer to his question?
 Jorieke Weiden. I would like to ask what her favourite type of T cell is? 

This is an easy one – my favourite type of T cell is the cytotoxic ‘killer’ T cell! It is the key effector cell that is able to kill tumour cells and thereby conveys anti-cancer immunity. 

10. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her?
I would like to nominate Daniëlle Verboogen and ask her: You are currently finishing up your PhD project, what have you learned that every newly starting PhD student should know from the start? 

11. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?                                 : PC
b) Theater or cinema?                   : Cinema
c) Dine out or dine in?                  : Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat?                           : Fiat, as it is way easier to park
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?     : Definitely chocoholic
f) Culture or Nature                       : Nature

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