I’m a PhD candidate in CRANN, where our work in nanotechnology is playing a major part in the development of an effective vaccine to eradication of malaria.
The lack of quantitative and qualitative diagnostic tools for efficacy screening hampers the development of vaccines against this parasite-born disease. My research aims to bridge this gap and enable the development of new malaria vaccine in collaboration with the Swiss Tropical Health Institute. My inter-disciplinary research covers the fields of biophysics, bio-diagnostics and development and application of biological sensing devices.
What brought you to research?
Curiosity and initiative was always a constant companion in my life. When I was a child, I was more interested in disassembling toys than playing with them. This curiosity about things and how they work lasted through my whole school career ending in a project thesis called “An autonomous lawn mower: From Lego Mindstorms to a working prototype”. It was obvious that I would study something with a hands-on approach not only pure theory.
Based on my broad interest in science I graduated with a bachelor’s degree (BSc) and Master’s degree (MSc) in Nanosciences from the University of Basel in Switzerland and I am now in my final year of my physics PhD at Trinity College Dublin. My science career facilitates my interdisciplinary PhD project which involves programming, engineering, surface modification, bio-physics and microbiology.
As a researcher I have to accept that nobody knows the truth. Starting a real experiment, collecting and analysing data might answer one question, yet raises a dozen other issues at the same time as the new data might not agree with published results. Therefore you have to conduct more experiments, investigate the problem systematically and extend your literature research to try to find a conclusion and explain your findings.
Science contains a lot of ups and downs. Some days, you are working on the break through and everything is great and the next day, nothing works and I consider running away and going back to work full-time as a ski instructor!
My Researcher Video