Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship 2019: Open for Nominations

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are proud to sponsor the fourteenth Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship, to honour and support the up and coming, next generation of scientists who have significantly contributed to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems.

This year’s Lectureship will be presented at the µTAS 2019 Conference in Basel, Switzerland with the recipient receiving a prize of US$2,000.

The Lectureship consists of the following elements:

  • A prize of US$2,000. No other financial contribution will be offered
  • A certificate recognising the winner of the lectureship
  • The awardee is required to give a short lecture at the 2019 µTAS Conference

 

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the lectureship, candidates must:

  • Have completed their PhD
  • Be actively pursuing an independent research career on miniaturised systems.
  • Be at an early-mid career stage of their independent career (typically this will be within 15 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path).

Nomination process

To be considered for the 2019 lectureship, the following must be sent to the Editorial Office

  • A letter of recommendation with the candidate’s accomplishments and why the lectureship is deserved.
  • The nominee must be aware that he/she has been nominated for this lectureship.
  • A complete nomination form (includes list of the candidate’s relevant publications or recent work, candidate’s scientific CV, and full contact details)
  • Nominations from students and self-nominations are not permissible.

Selection criteria and judging process

  • Nominations must be made via email to loc-rsc@rsc.org using the Dolomite/Lab on a Chip Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship nomination form and a letter of recommendation.
  • The decision on the winner of the lectureship will be made by a panel of judges comprising a representative from Dolomite and members from the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board, coordinated by the Executive Editor of Lab on a Chip.
  • The award is for outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. This will be judged mainly through their top 1-3 papers and/or an invention documented by patents/or a commercial product. Awards and honorary memberships may also be considered.

Nomination Deadline: 31 May, 2019

Download nomination form here

Previous Winners

  • 2018: Professor Sunghoon Kwon, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • 2017: Professor Aaron Wheeler, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2016: Professor Daniel Irimia, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
  • 2015: Professor Dino Di Carlo, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2014: Professor Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2013: Professor Shuichi Takayama, University of Michigan, USA
  • 2012: Professor Andrew deMello, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2011: Professor Ali Khademhosseini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2010: Professor Stephen Quake, Stanford University, USA
  • 2009: Professor Abe Lee, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • 2008: Dr Patrick Doyle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2007: Dr Manabu Tokeshi, Nagoya University, Japan
  • 2006: Dr David Beebe, University of Wisconsin, USA

Sponsors

Dolomite

Dolomite, part of the Blacktrace group, is the world leader in the design and manufacture of microfluidic products. Our systems are flexible and modular, allowing users to execute a wide range of applications in biology, chemistry, drug discovery, food, cosmetics, and academia. With expertise on hand, we can talk to you about your needs to ensure you find the right system for you and your research.

Lab on a Chip

Lab on a Chip provides a unique forum for the publication of significant and original work related to miniaturisation, at the micro- and nano-scale, of interest to a multidisciplinary readership. The journal seeks to publish work at the interface between physical technological advancements and high impact applications that are of direct interest to a broad audience.

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Organ-on-a-Chip systems-translating concept into practice Thematic Collection

We are pleased to announce a new Thematic Collection on Organ-on-a-Chip systems, translating concept into practice!

The first collection of papers on “Organ-body-and disease-on-a-Chip” collection has proved to be popular with the community. The collection has given this emerging field an identity and an effective venue for others to learn of the breadth, depth, and importance of this emerging area. We are delighted to announce that Michael Shuler (Cornell University, USA) will be acting as Thought Leader this follow-up collection.

We believe that a second collection highlighting efforts to translate this concept into practice would be valuable. While proof-of-concept papers for potential devices remains important, there has been significant progress in the last two years towards addressing the practical issues of translating these concepts into workable systems that will be adopted by industry and approved by regulators. While pharmaceuticals remain the primary target, it is clear that these devices will play important roles in the cosmetic, food, and chemical industries.

For regulatory approval and industrial adoption these devices need to be simple (easy to run by a technician), largely self-contained, low cost, reliable, incorporate advanced analytical techniques, and have efficient software to convert measurements into predictions of human response. Some of the initial proof-of-concept devices are too complicated and hence costly to be implemented industrially.  For an academic paper a lab can afford to have a high failure rate of systems as long as sufficient systems function to provide a robust data set.  For an industrial setting a high success rate will be necessary for adoption.  Automation of devices and efficient data collection and interpretation will be necessary for systems to have a broad impact and reduce labour costs.  Although much of the industrial data are proprietary, it should be possible to take historical cases where a drug candidate was approved and then withdrawn from the market due to toxicity and determine if the failure of the drug could have been anticipated from studies with a microphysiological (MPS) system.  Such examples could provide a compelling rationale for inclusion of MPS systems particularly in the later stages of the preclinical drug development process.

A series of papers that address aspects of the issues involved in moving from “proof-of-principle” devices to systems that can be routinely incorporated into testing of drugs, cosmetics, food ingredients, and chemicals would be valuable to the development of the field of microphysiological systems. We seek contributions that will help us fulfill this goal.

Lab on a Chip publishes the best work on significant and original work related to minia-turisation, at the micro- and nano-scale, of interest to a multidisciplinary readership. The journal seeks to publish work at the interface between physical technological advancements and high impact applications that are of direct interest to a broad audience.

Extraordinarily novel organ-on-a-chip systems that demonstrate unique new functions are also welcome.

Interested in submitting to the collection? 

We welcome submissions of original research articles and reviews to this collection and the collection is open for submissions.

Articles included in the collection will be published as they are accepted and collected into an online collection. They will receive extensive promotion throughout the submission period and as a complete collection.

If you are interested in submitting to the series, please get in touch with the Lab on a Chip Editorial Office at loc-rsc@rsc.org.

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Lab on a Chip Thematic Collections

We’ve brought together all of our latest Lab on a Chip Article Collections, Themed Issues, and Editor’s Choice collections to enable you to easily navigate to content most relevant to you. We hope you enjoy reading the papers in these collections!

Ongoing Collections

Thematic Collections

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Emerging Investigator Series – Jessie S. Jeon

Dr. Jessie S. Jeon received her SB, SM, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2008, 2010, 2014), and worked as a research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, (2014-2015). She has joined the KAIST faculty in the fall of 2015 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on the development of microfluidic platform with applications in investigating biological systems. She plans to further develop the microfluidic system with the emphasis in fluidic aspects and also to extend its applications in mimicking various organ disease systems as well as other biological microenvironments. By doing so, she hopes to bridge the needs of biomedical research with the knowledge of mechanical engineering principles.

Read Jessie S. Jeon’s Emerging Investigator article “On-chip phenotypic investigation of combinatory antibiotic effects by generating orthogonal concentration gradients and find out more about her in the interview below: 

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on on-chip phenotypic investigation of combinatory antibiotic effects. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My group first worked on microfluidic-based single antibiotic testing platform where we could reduce the time it takes for antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST). As we learn more about AST, we realized that recently most studies on antibiotics focus on investigation of combinatory antibiotic effects. Since microfluidic platform enables combination of multiple channels, it was quite natural to try a combination of antibiotics in one chip.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Broadly speaking, I am excited that we could potentially utilize our platform to screen for personalized medicine. That is to screen for patient specific therapy using microfluidic platform. The thought that our technology would contribute to enhance our lives definitely motivates me working on this topic.

In your opinion, what is the future of chip-based screening for clinical therapies?

I believe that with the development of lab-on-chips, we would be able to screen for the most optimal therapeutic strategy using a patient’s own cells, and this technology would bring the biggest impact to the society. This includes selection of strategy in terms of therapeutic methods as well as possibility in combinatory therapy either for antibiotics or anti-cancer drugs. That is also in line with my answer for the question above that I am very excited for the opportunities in personalized medicine with lab-on-a-chip technology.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

As a researcher in an interdisciplinary field, it is always challenging for me to identify meaningful biological and biomedical questions that I can address with my expertise. I realize that it is very important to keep keen relationships with clinicians and biologists.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I plan to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society in coming October.

How do you spend your spare time?

I enjoy playing a variety of sports, mostly tennis these days, and I also try to spend more time with family on short trips whenever possible.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Perhaps I would be serving in military as I briefly took a part in the ROTC program when I was in college.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

While I’m still in a position needing much advice from others, I would like to share my thought that if you don’t give up, there will be opportunities to come.

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Outstanding Reviewers for Lab on a Chip in 2018

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Lab on a Chip in 2018, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Chia Hung Chen, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Professor Daniel Citterio, Keio University, Japan
Dr David Collins, MIT, United States
Professor Dino Di Carlo, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
Dr Mei He, Kansas State University, United States
Dr Daniel Irimia, Harvard Medical School, United States
Dr Séverine Le Gac, University of Twente, Netherlands
Dr Robert Meagher, Sandia National Laboratories, United States
Professor Michael Roper, Florida State University, United States
Dr Edmond Young, University of Toronto, Canada

We would also like to thank the Lab on a Chip board and the Lab on a Chip community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us at LOC-RSC@rsc.org with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé. You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

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2019 Joint Ontario-on-a-Chip and TOeP Symposium

The 14th annual Ontario-on-a-Chip symposium will take place between 16th-17th May 2019 at the University of Toronto. The symposium will feature talks from the following keynote speakers: Dr. Peter Loskill from University of Tübingen, Dr. Wei Gao from Caltech, Dr. Michael Moore from Tulane University, and Dr. David Issadore from UPenn.

ORGANIZERS:

Dr. Edmond Young, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto

Dr. Milica Radisic, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Dr. Xinyu Liu, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto

Registration is now open! Deadline to register will be midnight April 23, 2019. The deadline for abstract submission is April 15th, 2019!

The meeting will be held in the George Ignatieff Theatre located at:

15 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 2C8

More information about directions to the venue can be found at:

http://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/visit/bookings/git/audience.html

Any questions about the event, please contact dan.voicu@utoronto.ca.

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New Associate Editor: Yoon-Kyoung Cho

We are delighted to announce that Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho (UNIST, South Korea) has been appointed Associate Editor for Lab on a Chip.

Professor Cho joined Lab on a Chip in 2013 as an Editorial Board member and now joins Petra Dittrich, Hang Lu, Jianhua Qin, Manabu Tokeshi, Joel Voldman and Aaron Wheeler as Associate Editors handling the peer review of submissions to the journal.

Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho is a Full Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology (UNIST) and a group leader in the Center for Soft and Living Matter at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), South Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999, having obtained her M.S. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from POSTECH in South Korea in 1994 and 1992, respectively. She worked as a senior researcher (1999–2008) at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), where she participated in the development of in vitro diagnostic devices for biomedical applications.

Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho’s research interests range from basic sciences to translational research in microfluidics and nanomedicine. Current research topics include a lab-on-a-disc for the detection of rare cells and extracellular biomarkers, quantitative analysis of single cells, and system analysis of cellular communication. Learn more about the Cho group at http://fruits.unist.ac.kr.

Some recent publications by Professor Cho in Lab on a Chip are shown below:

Cell migration in microengineered tumor environments Eujin Um, Jung Min Oh, Steve Granick and Yoon-Kyoung Cho

Fully automated, on-site isolation of cfDNA from whole blood for cancer therapy monitoring Chi-Ju Kim, Juhee Park, Vijaya Sunkara, Tae-Hyeong Kim, Yongjin Lee, Kyusang Lee, Mi-Hyun Kim and Yoon-Kyoung Cho

Urine-based liquid biopsy: non-invasive and sensitive AR-V7 detection in urinary EVs from patients with prostate cancer Hyun-Kyung Woo, Juhee Park, Ja Yoon Ku, Chan Ho Lee, Vijaya Sunkara, Hong Koo Ha and Yoon-Kyoung Cho

Professor Cho is also a Series Editor for Lab on a Chip’s Emerging Investigator Series alongside Dino Di Carlo and Piotr Garstecki. More details about the series and how to apply are available at rsc.li/loc-emerging

Please join us in welcoming Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho to Lab on a Chip.

Submit to Professor Cho’s Editorial Office 

Interested in the latest news, research and events of Lab on a Chip journal? Find us on Twitter:@LabonaChip

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RSC Analytical Chemistry journals Emerging Investigator Series

Our Analytical Chemistry journals Analyst, Analytical Methods and Lab on a Chip are committed to early career researchers in the analytical chemistry and engineering fields. Our Emerging Investigator Series provide a platform for early career researchers to showcase their best work to a broad audience.

If you have an independent career and are within 10 years of obtaining your PhD or within 5 years of your first independent position you may be eligible for our Analyst, Analytical Methods or Lab on a Chip Emerging Investigator Series.

Analyst Emerging Investigator Series

Series Editors: Ryan Bailey, Laura Lechuga and Jaebum Choo Find out more

Analytical Methods Emerging Investigator Series

Series Editors: Fiona Regan, Juewen Liu and Juan Garcia-Reyes Find out more

Lab on a Chip Emerging Investigator Series

Series Editors: Dino Di Carlo, Yoon-Kyoung Cho and Piotr Garstecki Find out more 

Appropriate consideration will be given to career breaks and alternative career paths.

 

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MicroTAS 2018 Highlights

The 22nd International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (aka MicroTAS) was held last year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Welcoming more than 1000 participants, MicroTAS 2018 conference brought together several disciplines including microfluidics, microfabrication, nanotechnology, integration, materials& surfaces, analysis & synthesis, and detection technologies for life sciences & chemistry. Besides the exciting scientific program and great presentations, social/networking events (welcome reception, student mixer, women night out, and conference banquet) have made MicroTAS 2018 conference an unforgettable one. In this article, we would like to share some of the conference highlights with our Lab on a Chip blog readers.

 

 

Unraveling endothelial cell phenotypic regulation by spatial hemodynamic flows with microfluidics 

Sarvesh Varma, Guillermo Garcia-Cardena, & Joel Voldman

Did you know that artery bifurcations are prone to atherosclerosis? Blood flow profiles in vessels can help us to gain insights towards atherosclerosis. In this work, the authors fabricated a soft microdevice to study the effects of helical and chaotic flows on endothelial cells located in vein walls. They hypothesized and demonstrated that a helical (uniform) flow profile results in endothelial cells aligning upstream to flow and gain atheroprotective properties, while the chaotic flow results in misalignment of cells that give rise to atherosclerosis.

The figure shows the morphological adaptations of cells in response to distinct spatial flows, scale bars are 0.1 mm.

 

 

glass-like polymer

 

3D printing of microfluidic glass reactors 

Patrick Risch, Frederik Kotz, Dorothea Helmer & Bastian Rapp

Microfluidic devices are mostly made from PDMS, although this material is not always well-suited for thermal, optical, mechanical and chemical changes. In this work, the authors present a new resin formulation to inspire the 3D printing of glass, which is more durable than PDMS. The resin was fabricated using stereolithography printer and this technique is useful for rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices made from glass for optical detection or chemical reaction applications.

A 3D gradient generator is shown in this figure, scale bar is 2 mm.

 

A Tetris-like modular microfluidic platform for mimicking multi-organ interactions 

Louis Ong Jun Ye, Terry Chng, Chong Lor Huai, Seep Li Huan & Toh Yi-Chin

Modularization is undoubtedly on the rise in microfluidics and this work demonstrates an interesting approach. The authors focused on solving ‘limited compatibility with existing devices‘ problem. To achieve that, ring magnets were utilized to connect different parts of PDMS building blocks that were previously fabricated using micro molds. A modular platform assembled using this approach was shown to culture cells as a proof-of-concept study. The platform is expected to allow facile configuration of complex experimental set-ups involving multiple tissues.

The image shows a modular device (left), and its parts (right) connected each other via magnets, scale bars are 1 cm.

 

 

A magneto-switchable superhydrophobic surface for droplet manipulation

Chao Yang & Gang Li

Surface hydrophobicity is an important feature when it comes to bio and chemical applications. In this work, magneto switchable micro-pillars were made from PDMS and carbonyl iron particles. The pillars erect under influence of a magnetic field, resulting in subsequent switching of the wettability and adhesion of the surface between the water-repellent and water-adhesive states. The surface becomes superhydrophobic (water-repellent) when the magnetic field is applied. The authors demonstrated droplet lifting and transportation on a surface using this approach.

The image depicts the effect of an external magnetic field on the stiffness of micro-pillars.

 

About the Web writer

Burcu Gumuscu is a postdoctoral fellow in Herr Lab at UC Berkeley in the United States. Her research interests include the development of microfluidic devices for quantitative analysis of proteins from single-cells, next-generation sequencing, compartmentalized organ-on-chip studies, and desalination of water on the microscale.

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Screening lipid libraries with microfluidics

Written by Darius Rackus

The plasma membrane is a key component of living organisms and is essential to all life. It separates the inside of the cell from the outside, compartmentalizes reactions, and selectively allows transport across it. While a lot of research has gone into how different proteins and surface molecules control the functions of the plasma membrane, less is known about how lipid composition gives rise to specific properties. For instance, transmembrane proteins, which are also a large class of drug targets, may have different requirements for the lipid environment or may have their function modified depending on local lipid composition. Recently, researchers from the David Weitz Lab at Harvard, have developed a microfluidic chip which they used to screen the largest lipid library to date, in order to identify which lipid compositions have specificity for certain protein transmembrane domains. This allows researchers to investigate the effect of local lipid concentration on transmembrane proteins.

The plasma membrane is often described as a ‘simple barrier’. But if that’s the case, then “why does nature go through the trouble of making so many different types of lipids?” explained Roy Ziblat, the lead author on the paper. Ziblat believes that the lipid membrane role is far bigger than a mere barrier and it serves as a substrate for accelerating bio-reactions. The role of the lipids composing the membrane is to control which biomolecules participate in these reactions, by their selectivity to membrane proteins. Having limited success with existing techniques, Ziblat turned to microfluidics to try to answer this question.

The microfluidic chip comprises an array of 108 wells in PDMS where lipid films can be deposited and dried before sealing the chip with another layer of PDMS. Liposomes are generated within the wells by swelling in aqueous buffer. These liposomes are then tested to see whether or not transmembrane domain peptides will insert into them. However, because the transmembrane domain peptides are insoluble, they can’t simply be added into the chip. To get around this, Ziblat et al. turned to cell-free protein synthesis. By loading the chip with DNA for the transmembrane domain peptide and PURExpress (a commercial cocktail of ribosomes, enzymes, and nucleotides for transcription and translation), the peptides can be synthesized in close proximity to the liposomes, thus minimizing precipitation and increasing the chance of insertion. The paper by Ziblat et al., which was featured on the cover of the 7th December issue of Lab on a Chip, also includes a helpful video description of these methods. Ziblat said he first made the video to better communicate his methods with his supervisor and colleagues, but it really helps the reader understand a very technical methodology.

Going forward, Ziblat hopes to use the device to study other membrane interactions, such as virus-cell binding. There’s also hope that this new device and method can be used to identify what the authors call “druggable lipids”—peptides that interact with specific lipids and thus better direct drugs toward specific cells or even organelles.


To download the full article, click the link below:

Determining the lipid specificity of insoluble protein transmembrane domains

R. Ziblat, J. C. Weaver, L. R. Arriaga, S. Chong and D. A. Weitz

Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 3561

DOI: 10.1039/c8lc00311d


About the webwriter

Darius Rackus (right) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Dittrich Bionalytics Group at ETH Zürich. His research interests are in developing integrated microfluidic tools for healthcare and bioanalysis

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Emerging Investigator Series – Jerome Charmet

Jérôme Charmet received the Diplôme d’Ingénieur in Microtechnology Engineering from HES-SO Arc in Switzerland in 1998, the M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Bern, Switzerland, in 2010, and the PhD degree from the University of Cambridge in 2015. Overall, he worked for more than 10 years in both industrial and academic positions, including Intel Corporation, the National Centre for Sensor Research of Dublin City University in Ireland, the Microtechnology Institute of HES-SO Arc in Switzerland and the Centre for Misfolding Diseases of the University of Cambridge, UK. He joined the University of Warwick as an Assistant Professor in 2016 where he is developing integrated microfluidic platforms to study complex fluids and biological environments with applications in diagnosis, monitoring and drug screening/discovery. Read more about his group research here.

Read his Emerging Investigator article “Resolving protein mixtures using microfluidic diffusional sizing combined with synchrotron radiation circular dichroism” and read about him in the interview below:

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on protein mixtures using microfluidic diffusional sizing combined with synchrotron radiation circular dichroism. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

It has evolved quite a lot, in fact it was not even directly related to microfluidics!

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I have started to explore organs-on-a-chip platforms with some colleagues biologists and I find it quite fascinating. But to be honest, every aspects of my work is exciting. I have a great team and collaborators I really enjoy to work with on a daily basis!

In your opinion, what applications can your current approach be used for?

In the manuscript we have used diffusional sizing to resolve the secondary structure of a complex mixture of proteins using synchrotron radiation circular dichroism, but the approach can be applied to other biomolecules with other bulk measurement techniques. We are taking advantage of laminar flow to separate the mixture into “controllable” fractions. By measuring the mixture and the different fractions, we can retrieve information about each component in the mixture.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

It’s multidisciplinary nature.. but it is also one of the most rewarding (when it works).

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I’m just back from MicroTAS 2018 in Kaohsiung (Taiwan). Next, I will be attending the 8th Annual UK and Ireland Early Career Blood Brain Barrier Symposium 2018 in Oxford.

How do you spend your spare time?

Hiking, running … and these days spending as much time as possible with my 1 year old son.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I got to work with art conservator-restorers (…for some reason) and it is something I would definitely enjoy.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

It will sound a bit cheesy, but I will say “believe in your own ideas and importantly, find the right environment to develop them”.

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