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?