“Many years ago, my mom used to read to me about famous scientists. I recall her telling me how James Watt first conceived the idea of a steam engine while watching steam lift a pot’s lid with his mom in the kitchen. These stories were an inspiration for me. I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. I’m originally from India, but I’ve also lived in Oman and the United Arab Emirates when I was little. I started my Bachelor’s in Biotechnology in India, but I wanted to learn new techniques and understand fundamental oncological processes. So I enrolled at the University of Amsterdam. After various internships, I ended up in the Tumor Biology & Immunology department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. I’m sure not all my colleagues were happy to have me there, because I often sang along loudly to Linkin Park and Backstreet Boys songs while working on DNA damage tolerance. I investigated a tumor’s vulnerability once it is treated with toxic substances. At the kitchen table, back in the day, I promised my mom that I’d become a doctor one day. And I kept my word.”
Ronak will defend his thesis on October 27.
prof. dr. F. van Leeuwen
dr. H.B. Jacobs