I had a passion for nature at an early age, which led me to study biology. But for a long time, I didn’t know about research as a career option. I didn’t have any role models. My uncertainty made my parents quite nervous. While they were supportive of me, they thought, “Aside from teaching, what can you do, really, with a biology degree?”
I believe so. My first goal is to make an impact scientifically, of course. But in addition, I feel honored to be in a position where I can help young scientists remain on their paths, especially when they experience difficulties.
When they’re having a bad streak with their research, for example, I tell them, “Whatever you do today, just make sure to come back tomorrow.” If they’ve made it this far, they can work through the ups and downs. It’s in the nature of research to be wrong. You continue asking questions and pushing forward until things fall into place. That takes an open mind, courage, persistence, and time.
It was a natural trajectory, growing out of my interest in stem cells and my desire to address diseases for which we have few treatments or cures.
I wanted to see how research was done in another country. I came to appreciate how the system here supports young scientists and is completely open to novel ideas. I stayed because I had an opportunity to do a postdoc with Einstein’s Ulrich Steidl [an expert in stem-cell research, AML, and MDS]. He instilled in me the confidence that you can discover something new by pushing boundaries.
Yes, the Sohn Prize will allow me to explore completely uncharted territory: the role of iron in creating and sustaining the cancerous blood stem cells that lead to AML and MDS.
The Power, a dystopian science fiction novel by Naomi Alderman. It’s my very first novel of this genre, and a deeply moving—and in parts disturbing—story about gender and power.
Currently I like doing anything that is making our son, who is 2, happy. Also, my husband and I love to go on hikes