Career Day "Academia" Speaker Profiles

"Welcome Address"

Michael Boutros

1991 - 1993 Studies in Biology, RWTH Aachen; 1993 - 1996 Studies in Biochemistry, University Witten/Herdecke; 1994 - 1995 Fulbright Exchange Program, SUNY Stony Brook, USA; 1995 - 1996 Diploma thesis research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA; 1996 - 1999 Ph.D., European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg; 1999 - 2001 M.P.A., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA; 1999 - 2003 Postdoctoral research, Harvard Medical School, USA; 2003 - 2007 Independent Group leader (tenure-track), German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg, Germany; 2008 - Head of Division, German Cancer Research Center, Germany

"Your possibilities in Academia"

Hans-Georg Kräusslich

Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Kräusslich is head of virology at Heidelberg University since 2000 and Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases since 2004. After his MD in experimental virology (Munich 1985) he did a postdoc at Stony Brook (New York) and then joined the DKFZ as a group leader in 1989. He obtained his Habilitation in 1990, declined offers for full professorships in Münster (1993) and Ulm (1994) before accepting a professorship at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute in Hamburg (1995). In 2000 he came back to Heidelberg as Full Professor and Head of Virology. He is cofounder of BioQuant, Director of Cell Networks, Dean of Research for the Medical Faculty and has directed two collaborative research centers (SFB). He will head the Center for Integrative Infectious Disease Research (CIID) which is currently being built in the Neuenheimer Feld.

"Insight into the professorship appointment process"

Georg Stöcklin

After a period of almost 10 years as a junior group leader, I recently accepted a professorship at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University. In my presentation, I will speak about the turning points in my academic career, reflect on the way I made critical decisions, and discuss the relationship between "life", "science" and "career".

Session I: "Between PhD and Professor"

Jörg Hoheisel

A career toward a professorship or PI position cannot be planned long-term, since there are too many aspects involved, which come about at relatively short notice and are frequently beyond one’s control. Also, one should really consider whether pursuing a professorship is the best possible career path in the first place. Always look at and consider the options available. They much depend on personal preferences, such as flexibility about location, income expectancy, willingness to take the risk of failure, actual ability to work independently, and the willingness of being responsible. A mostly uncontrollable factor is the availability of appropriate position(s) or job(s), for example.

Petra Kioschis-Schneider

When scientists think about their career path in Academy they are usually not aware of the possibilities at the University of Applied Sciences. What requirements does a person have to fulfill to get a position there? In this talk I will share my own experience and career path, which brought me to the Professorship at the University of Applied Sciences. Furthermore I will give insights into the different elements of the position that encompass teaching, research and service. I will discuss teaching loads as well as specific research funding opportunities.

Oliver Gruss

After my PhD at the Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg, I moved to the laboratory of Iain Mattaj at EMBL. I started to work on nucleocytoplasmic transport and than found out quite soon afterwards that transport factors provide a molecular link between nuclear import in interphase and spindle formation in mitosis. This research was done using cell free extracts derived from Xenopus, which I am still using since than. The system is not only an excellent in vitro reconstitution tool for all basic cell biological processes. It also provided me with a unique “label”, which helped a lot to become visible in the cell biology community. Only a handful of laboratories in Germany are working with cell free lysates of Xenopus oocytes. After my postdoctoral studies, I returned to the ZMBH and first became a group leader and afterwards non-permanent professor of the faculty of biosciences. For the last 1.5 years in Heidelberg, I also took over the position as scientific coordinator of the excellence-funded graduate school HBIGS, which manages more than 350 PhD students in the life sciences at Heidelberg university.  This allowed me to still do research beyond the deadline of my limited contract and to finish a number of publications in due time to become competitive for a professorship in Germany. In Nov. 2015, I was appointed as permanent professor for Genetics at the faculty of mathematics and natural sciences in Bonn.

Björn Tews

I received my diploma in Biology from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen in 2002 where I did my diploma thesis in biochemistry in the lab of Prof. Alfred Pingoud. I then joined Prof. Peter Lichter’s lab at the DKFZ for my PhD thesis where I have identified novel tumor suppressor- and oncogenes in tumors of the central nervous system (2006). During my PhD thesis I received a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. After a postdoctoral period at the DKFZ I moved to Prof. Martin Schwab’s lab at the ETH Zürich, leading the neurobiochemistry subgroup until 2012. My research was focused on the role of myelin inhibitory proteins and their receptors in neuronal plasticity and regeneration. I hold a Master’s degree in clinical trial management. Since 2012 I am heading the CHS Junior Research Group Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Invasion at the DKFZ. My lab works on the molecular mechanisms underlying brain tumor invasion.

Session II: "Academic Career Options Beyond Professorship"

Frieder Kern

Technology Transfer Professional with more than ten years advanced experience as vice head of the department managing all aspects of a Technology Transfer Office. In particular expertise in patenting and licensing and spin-off activities. Proven ability to combine strategy with management in the organisation. Strong record of increasing profitability improving licensing negotiation as well as enforcement of Intellectual Property.

Anke Busch

For my current work at a bioinformatics core facility I need many different skills starting from understanding biological concepts over writing scripts for data analysis to applying statistics on the data. I started learning structured thinking and mathematical concepts as an undergraduate student and improved them developing algorithms as a PhD student in bioinformatics. Being an embedded bioinformatician in a molecular genetics lab as a postdoc, I learnt how to communicate efficiently with wet lab scientists and focused on data analysis rather than tool development. The summary of those steps brought me to where I am today.

Malte Paulsen

Core Facilities are a great career path for scientists with a profound interest in technology and the skills to deliver services to fellow researchers. The expectations of facility leads are similar to regular PIs, but the focus of success is based on performance and usability of the unit. Facility operation is quite different according to the country though the common goal is always quality and perfection. Facilities have been a niche for pro-technology postdocs in the past, but the ever-increasing pressure on research efficiency and speed gave rise to a broad community of facilities around the globe with a clear career path and ample of opportunities.

Session III: "Keys to successful careers in Academia"

Roccio Sotillo

I received my B.Sc. in Pharmacy from the San Pablo-CEU University and my Ph.D. from the Autónoma University in Madrid working with Drs. Mariano Barbacid and Marcos Malumbres at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO). In 2003 I joined the laboratory of Robert Benezra at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where I investigated new insights into the mechanism of tumor formation as a result of overexpression of mitotic checkpoint proteins. This work resulted in 4 first author publications in Cancer Cell, PNAS, Nature and Nature Reviews in Cancer. During my studies I obtained funding from the Spanish Association for Cancer Research, Spanish Ministry of Health, and the Caja Madrid, Charles Revson and Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation. In 2008 I received the MSKCC Research Fellow Award.
I joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Monterotondo in 2010 as a Staff Scientist. In 2012 I received an ERC Starting Grant, an International Early Career Scientist award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a Marie Curie re-integration grant and a research grant form the Italian Association for Cancer Research. In 2015 I joined the DKFZ as a W3 Professor and Head of the Molecular Thoracic Oncology Division.

Violaine Rosenstiel-Goidts

Determined to pursue a career in Academia since my diploma thesis time in Boston, I joined the DKFZ in 2006. I am a DKFZ Junior Research Group Leader since September 2015 and also the mum of two children who are now 4 and 7 years old.
In 2003 I finished my studies in Biology at the University of Namur (Belgium). During that time, I had the chance to study at the University of Uppsala (Sweden) thanks to an Erasmus exchange. This experience motivated me to do my diploma thesis abroad and I joined the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (USA) for 6 months. In the second half of 2003, I got the opportunity to start a PhD thesis at the University of Ulm in the Department of Human Genetics, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hameister. In 2006, I received a postdoc position from the DKFZ and joined the Division of Molecular Genetics headed by Prof. Dr. Peter Lichter, in the group of Dr. Bernhard Radlwimmer. In 2007, I received a Young Investigator Award from the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, allowing me to develop a certain level of independency. In 2008 I gave birth to my first child. In 2010, Peter Lichter gave me the chance to develop my own group within his Division. I acquired fundings for my research and my group. In 2011, I got my second child. Since this Summer I have my own DKFZ Junior Research Group.

Mathias Hafner

1976–1980, Chemistry at Heidelberg Univ.; 1979–1983, Biology at Heidelberg Univ.; 1984-1987, PhD project at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Woods Hole, USA and Dept. of Cell Biology, German Cancer Research Center (Dir. W. W. Franke); 1987 Promotion Dr. rer. nat. (scl); 1987-1988, Post-doc Hopkins Marine Station (Prof. Dan Mazia), Stanfort; 1989–1993 Group Leader, Dept. of Molecular Pharmacology, Knoll-BASF AG, Ludwigshafen; since 1993 Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Applied Sciences Mannheim (UASM); 1998 Habilitation and venia legendi for Molecular Biotechnology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg Univ.; 2000–2004 Vice-Dean Faculty of Biotechnology; since 2000 Professor, Center Medical Research (ZMF), Medical Faculty Mannheim; since 2008 Director, Institute for Biomedical Technology, Heidelberg Univ. & UASM; since 2014 Dean, Faculty of Biotechnology; incoming Vice President for Research & Technology Transfer. Fields of interest: e.g. 3D-cell culture, calcium signalling, life cell imaging; > 90 Pubmed entries (e.g. Nature, Science, PNAS, JCS, JBC, Oncotarget)

"Framework for your career planning"

Susanne Weg-Remers

Susanne Weg-Remers is Head of the Cancer Information Service at DKFZ. She holds an MD PhD degree and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. After graduation, she worked in internal medicine and in both clinical and basic cancer research. Together with her colleagues at the Institute for Toxicology and Genetics (FZK, Karlsruhe), she worked on alternative splicing in T-lymphocytes. As of 2004 she turned her career towards science management with stations at FZK and as Head of Strategy at DKFZ. Here, she initiated and coordinated several prominent initiatives, among which the National Cohort. As of 2012, Susanne Weg-Remers has taken on the lead of the Cancer Information Service (KID), a unit which offers evidence-based, quality-secured cancer information to patients, relatives and the general public.

Bérénice Kimpe

The talk will present the specificities of the Higher Education and Research landscape as well as the academic career path after a PhD in France. Some statistics and information will be given to understand the challenges researchers in France are facing. Bérénice Kimpe studied foreign languages applied to business. After her education, she joined a training institute to be in charge of European programmes for socially disadvantaged young people, with the conviction that a professional experience abroad accelerates their personal development. She was then recruited by an association to promote the bilingual education in schools and thus increase the future employability of young people. Since Sept. 2009, she has been working for ABG and the Franco-German University to help PhDs to implement a smooth transition out of academia. She moderates European career workshops and writes some advisory articles on career strategy. Her activities are focussed on the international mobility of researchers.

Bettina Crispin

In 2007, the Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law) came into force. The law outlines the regulations for the temporary employment of scientific, research and artistic staff at higher education institutions and research facilities. It allows fixed-term contracts during the qualification phase (“12-Jahres-Regelung”) and within third party funded projects. The Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz was evaluated in 2011. Based on the outcome of this evaluation the Federal Government submitted a draft amendment of the law to the German Parliament. It is planned that the law will be amended in 2016. Academic qualifications: Law studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 1991: first state exam; 1994: second state exam; Work experience: 1995-1998: Human Resources and Legal Affairs, DRK Blutspendedienst Baden-Württemberg; 1999: Assistant to the Acting Director of the German Opera at the Rhine; 2000-2002: Assistant to the Administrative-Commercial Director of the DKFZ; 2002-2011: Head of Unit Administrative Project Management DKFZ; since 2011: Head of Unit Human Resources DKFZ.

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