The Faces Of NGC

An interview with Tanja Jene

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Tanja Jene is the treasurer of NGC and a PhD student in AG Mueller. Brilliant and determined, she shares with us her story and passion for science


Where are you from and which study did you follow?
I am German and I come from a village in Saarland, the smallest state of Germany. I studied Bioscience at the technical university of Kaiserslautern for both bachelor and master degrees. During this period, I specialized in cell biology/physiology and more precisely in neuroscience where I enjoyed learning animal research/behavior experiments.

Why did you decide to pursue a PhD and how did you find this position?
In general, I like to aim high and challenges. Doing a PhD is one that I wanted to tackle. I am very interested in translational neuroscience and I was looking for a PhD position where I could apply and deepen my knowledge but also learn new methods. Therefore, I was searching for a position which combines basic research and medical application in the field of neuroscience and psychiatry. Luckily, I found a position in Translational Psychiatry which was posted by Prof. Mueller in the job offer of FENS.

Why do you love your job?
I have a strong curiosity concerning the human/animal physiology and the underpinning mechanisms unmasked by using a translational approach. I love doing research that explains how fundamental things are working and what is going wrong in human disease especially psychiatric disorders.

How do you spend time outside of the lab?
I like to spend time with my friends and my family. I have a special connection with my twin sister and since we don’t live anymore in the same city, I really appreciate the time spent together.
Before my PhD, I was dancing in a carnival association and even if I no longer participate, I am enjoying a lot the time of Fastnacht in Mainz.

How do you see your future?
Honestly, I still haven’t decided in which direction I will go after my PhD. I am open to continue with a post-doc in academia or industry.

What is your role in NGC and why did you join?
I am the treasurer of NGC and oversee some financial aspects like taking care of our credit/debit. I am also involved in the organization of the NGC: preparing the meeting's venue, writing emails, marketing, secretary of the meeting, writing drafts for feedback forms, interview questions for speakers/PIs… I joined NGC for the social part when I was new in Mainz and I wanted to get to know people in a relaxed scientific context. I found it great to talk about science in a peer to peer way and to get inputs on my work from people belonging to other groups.

Written by Isabelle Arnoux; Edited by Radhika Menon. Picture: NGC/Tanja Jene. Featured Image: NGC/Design.


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