Pia Volkmer

Where were you born?

I was born in Paderborn, a relatively small city in the west of Germany close to Dortmund and Düsseldorf.

What kind of studies do/will you work on?

I will work on analyzing mucosal biopsies of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in the lab to visualize drug target cells and molecular patterns to improve the prediction of treatment outcome. This research aims to individualize IBD treatment and thereby make the treatment more effective and sustainable.

Why do you want to do research/work in this field?

As a lab person, I usually do not have much patient contact, and it can take years until the research actually benefits patients. Therefore, it was a great experience to see how patient related the research at OMIG is. The number of patients whose social and professional life is heavily affected by IBD is constantly rising, and I hope that the research during my Ph.D. can influence treatment success in the near future.

What is your background/did you study?

I did my bachelor’s in Molecular Medicine at Freiburg University in the south of Germany. Afterward, I came to Groningen and did the master’s program Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment (MMIT).

What relevant experiences did you gain during your study?

During serval internships in my bachelor’s and master’s, I gained hands-on research experience in different research fields like skin diseases, kidney diseases, and neuroscience. I have experience in cell culture work, assay development, fluorescence staining, biochemical and imaging methods. Furthermore, I did two internships at the Novartis headquarters in Basel, where I gained insight into industrial research and experienced working for an internationally renowned pharmaceutical company.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

In my free time, I like to do yoga, running, horseback riding, and painting. I am also following a Dutch language course so I can hopefully speak fluent Dutch at the end of my Ph.D.