Monday, 01 March 2021 09:37

Interview TUW

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Early Stage Researcher Lukas Velas, MSc

  • What are your research interests? What are you working on?

I am studying spatial distribution and mobility of the proteins within immune synapse by means of fluorescence microscopy. In my PhD I have implemented a 3D superresolution fluorescence microscopy setup that allows us to localize single proteins with precision of 10 nm in all three dimensions and applied it to study the distribution of T cell receptor upon different conditions.

  • How did you decide to make this the focus of your research?

During my physics studies I was fascinated by the technology that allows us to see single molecules by tagging them with a fluorophore. I wanted to get closer to the development of these methods and their applications. Furthermore, immunology is an exciting field in which many fundamental questions remain unanswered. Hence, I really liked the idea of exploring the world of T cells with superresolution microscopy.

  • What would you like the impact of this project to be?

I would like to bring new insights into arrangement of T cell receptor and other proteins in the immune synapse before and after T cell activation.

  • Where and how did your scientific journey begin?

I started with studying Physics at Charles University in Prague. During my studies I got attracted by problems in biology which could be addressed by biophysical methods. I worked in a couple of biophysics laboratories at Charles University as well as Czech Academy of Sciences. There I for the first time contributed to real research and attended conferences. Here I realized I wanted to pursue this journey with applying for a PhD position.

  • What do you plan to do after you complete your PhD?

I am remaining open minded. I would like to gain further results from the techniques and knowledge I have gained during my PhD. But I think I would also be happy in R&D departments of some company. The most important for me is to be in touch with modern technology and its application to important problems.

  • How has your view of Science changed with this consortium?

Thanks to this consortium I was able to see top science. Either by working in a top end laboratory, collaborating with great partners and attending big conferences and meetings.

  • Was there something specific about the ENACTI2NG that drew you to apply?

I was attracted by the quality of partners involved in the consortium and the proposed extent of collaborations. Furthermore, the possibilities in the lab of prof. Schütz were exactly what I wanted to explore. Also good and stable funding of the project for 3 years was a big plus.

  • How do you think the ENACTI2NG consortium is contributing to put you one step closer to your goal?

It allows me to pursue my scientific questions in a great environment of colleagues, collaborators and with all the necessary equipment.

  • Someone curious about participating in a consortium like asks for your feedback or advice, what would you tell him/her?

I would say it’s a great opportunity for everyone who wants to pursue science and I would encourage everyone to apply. However one must keep an eye on the duration of the project since for some scientific questions 3 years might be too tight.

  • What do you like most about your time at your institution/group/consortium?

(institution) I like that its modern, its based in the centre of Vienna and provides me with everything I need.

(group) I like the friendly and helpful atmosphere in the group. Also the availability of my PI to discuss my research.

(consortium) I love our meetings, the PIs are very friendly and supportive and the students are a great fun.

  • Would you apply again?

Definitely.

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