Technische Universität München
Can you explain your research within Virofight in 2 sentences?
I design DNA origami structures to trap filamentous viruses, such as Ebola, with the goal to prevent interactions with the cells, rendering them non-infectious.
What do your friends and family think of what you are doing in the lab?
“Pipetting” and “something with proteins”
What are you really doing? What’s your favourite/least task or method to do in the lab?
Honestly, I do pipette a LOT.
My least favourite task is using the spectrophotometer to measure the concentration of my origami. My favourite task is gel extraction (just the cutting part, though).
Which virus is the most interesting one and why?
For me, it’s probably the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, the first virus ever discovered. Since it can not be seen under a light microscope, up to the discovery of the electron microscope, its existence has been hotly debated and people came up with the wildest theories for the cause of tobacco mosaic.
What is the major challenge in research for you?
At the moment, the stability of my origami.
Cell or Nature? Nature
PC or Mac? PC
Coffee or Tea? Definitely Coffee.
Why does your research matter to the general public?
Because there is still a plethora of viruses that do not yet have an approved antiviral treatment available.
Which publication influenced you most?
“Life at low Reynolds number” by E.M. Purcell
What else do you like to read (except research articles)?
Pretty much any book I can get my hands on, I’m not picky.
What is your personal highlight in Virofight up to now?
Seeing my own DNA origami design under the electron microscope for the first time.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside the lab?
Cycling and reading.
Best recent TV series or movie or novel depicting scientists?
Die drei Sonnen (The Three-Body Problem) by Liu Cixin.