Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort- IME-SP- Germany
Dr. Ole Pless
1. How did you get into the autophagy field and why is the field important to you?
I was first exposed to autophagy during a joint project with the research group of Prof. Dr. Lucie Carrier from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. We were successful in securing funding for a translational project in cardiovascular disease from the “Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (DZHK)”. This work was following up from Singh et al. (Circulation Heart Failure, 2017) focusing on an autophagy phenotype related to a protein (Mybpc3) involved in cardiomyopathy. Because of this work I was exposed to Fulvio Reggiori from UMC Groningen and this interaction resulted in the successful application for Marie Curie ITN DRIVE.
2. What is a key question in the autophagy field now? Where do you think the field is heading?
My interest primarily lies in translation: How can we utilize the key academic findings in the field of autophagy? Can we find rational targets to modulate autophagy in a disease-specific context and does this ameliorate disease symptoms?
3. Should you meet any scientist, currently living or deceased, who would it be and why?
Currently, I would like to meet Alexander von Humboldt if I had the chance. Mostly because I am reading a fascinating biographic book by historian Andrea Wulf. Humboldt was the first natural scientist with a holistic view on nature.
4. What advice do you have for early career scientists that want to enter the autophagy field?
First advice: Read, read, read. Second advice: Work hard, party hard. Third advice: Have fun during your PhD and be passionate about it. Remember: Science is fun. If you don´t get satisfaction from “leading a scientist´s life”, choose an alternative career path (which is fine!). Then it´s not worth the effort.