“I often spent entire days hunched over the microscope for my research. One experiment even had me behind the microscope for over 43 hours! Thankfully, my colleagues were willing to take over for a few hours in the morning, so I could get some short rest. What was I studying so intensively? I was looking at various processes inside the cell, like the one that occurs in the case of a wound. Skin cells that usually stay firmly in place move toward the wound to heal it. We call this a migration. Tumor cells migrate in a similar way. In breast cancer cells, I observed that breast cancer cells behaved similarly to healthy tissue during the menstrual cycle. This observation led us to consider the timing of certain medications used to treat breast cancer. This is a good example of the ways fundamental research can make a tangible difference for patients. I'm originally from Germany, but I didn't have much trouble adapting when I came to Amsterdam. It's quite similar here to my experiences in Cologne. I will stay here a little longer to pass on my knowledge to young researchers.”
Laura will defend her thesis on November 3.
This research was financially made possible in part by a Marie Sklodowska Curie grant (Horizon 2020) and Oncode.
prof. dr. J.E. van Rheenen