Curated by
Emma Pewsey

The Author's Story: A Series of Interviews

eLife authors answer questions about their life and work.
Collection

Most papers in eLife have at least one early-career researcher as an author. In this series of interviews, we explore how some of these authors became interested in science, what they are working on at present, and what they hope to achieve in the future.

Collection

  1. Interview: Staying focused

    Support from a multidisciplinary initiative allows Ilaria Testa’s lab to develop new optical microscopy techniques.
  2. Interview: Catching up

    Daniel Mansur explains the challenges he faces as a Group Leader in Brazil.
  3. Interview: Going places

    Moving from China to the US to do a postdoc is part of Huan Yan's plan to have his own lab one day.
  4. Down the wormhole: an interview with Zoë Hilbert

    Zoë Hilbert is a PhD student at MIT, where she studies neuronal gene expression in the roundworm, C. elegans.
  5. Harnessing forces: an interview with Lining (Arnold) Ju

    On reading that the 21st century would be known as the century of biology, mechanical engineering graduate Lining (Arnold) Ju decided to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering. He is currently a postdoc at the Heart Research Institute and a lecturer at the University of Sydney in Australia, where he studies how platelets sense mechanical forces and how problems in this process can lead to various blood diseases.
  6. Anthropology in the bones: an interview with Zach Cofran

    Zach Cofran's career as a paleoanthropologist has taken him from the United States to Kazakhstan and South Africa, where he was part of the team that discovered the new hominin species, Homo naledi. He has just started a new job as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vassar College, New York.
  7. Controlling traffic: an interview with Ramanath Hegde

    Ramanath Hegde is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry in Naples, Italy, where he investigates ways of preventing cells from destroying mutant proteins. He maintains his original interest in engineering through a variety of hobbies, including carpentry.
  8. Infection, statistics and public health: an interview with Alicia Rosello

    Alicia Rosello grew up in Brussels and is now studying a PhD at University College London funded by Public Health England researching antibiotic resistance in care homes for the elderly. She has also worked on studying Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  9. Chemistry versus cancer: an interview with Daniel Abankwa

    Daniel Abankwa is approaching the end of a five-year Academy of Finland Research Fellowship at the Turku Centre for Biotechnology in Finland. His group investigates how mutations to a protein called Ras can lead to cancer, and use this knowledge to develop drugs.
  10. The benefits of new brain cells: an interview with Antonia Marín-Burgin

    Antonia Marín-Burgin is a Group Leader at the IBioBA-CONICET-MPSP Institute in Buenos Aires. Her research focuses on understanding how the neurons in the hippocampus – an area of the brain associated with navigation and memory formation – interact to form microcircuits.
  11. Of plants and parasites: an interview with Yong Woo

    Yong Woo is a research scientist at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) currently researching how the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana acclimatises to heat. Originally from South Korea, he did his higher education, including PhD and post-doctoral training, in the United States before moving to KAUST in Saudi Arabia. He enjoys the beauty of the Saudi Arabian desert and the company of his two boys and wife.
  12. Connecting the flight controls: an interview with Tarjani Agrawal

    Tarjani Agrawal is currently completing her PhD in neurogenetics at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, India (NCBS). After her PhD, she would like to move abroad and continue working in research as a postdoctoral fellow.
  13. The regeneration game: an interview with Brian Bradshaw

    Brian Bradshaw studies regeneration in marine animals called cnidarians at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway). Thanks to his parents and older brother, he developed a love of nature and the outdoors at a young age, which steered him towards a career in science.
  14. Looking at lipids: an interview with Jessica Hughes

    Jessica Hughes is a lecturer in medical sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research focuses on the role of lipids in health and disease. She currently lives with her husband Lucas and their three dogs in Wollongong, where she enjoys walking the dogs on the local off-leash beach every morning.
  15. Helping the neighbours: an interview with Meredith Schuman

    Meredith Schuman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and is currently leading a junior research group at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), where she investigates the ecological roles of genes in populations of the wild tobacco plant Nicotiana attenuata. She hopes to find a tenure-track position in molecular chemical ecology when funding for her current position ends in 2017. Her hobbies include reading, writing, running, hiking, bodyweight training and travel, and she loves teaching.
  16. Repeating the message: an interview with Yunsheng Cheng

    Yunsheng Cheng grew up in a village in Anhui Province in China and received his bachelor's degree from Anhui Normal University. He is currently a graduate student at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he studies how neurons transmit signals to other cells. He enjoys listening to country music, and after he graduates he would like to pursue postdoctoral training abroad.
  17. Controlling the immune response: an interview with Donna MacDuff

    Donna MacDuff moved from the UK to the US in 2003 to do a PhD at the University of Minnesota. She is currently an Instructor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, where she studies how inflammation is controlled during different types of infection. Outside of the lab, she competes in badminton tournaments all over the Midwest.
  18. Decoding behaviour: an interview with Fanny Cazettes

    Fanny Cazettes grew up in the south of France and majored in biomedical engineering at the Institut Superieur des BioSciences (ISBS) in Paris. She is currently a PhD student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where she investigates neural activity in owls using physiological, behavioural and computational modelling techniques. She will be applying for a postdoctoral position within the next few months.
  19. Developing kidneys: an interview with Peter Hohenstein

    Originally from the Netherlands, Peter Hohenstein has been in Edinburgh since 2001 and now has his own group in The Roslin Institute, studying the link between normal kidney development and kidney disease. He is married and has a 4 year old daughter (and three cats), and he enjoys music, ‘mainly old stuff with lots of guitars’.
  20. Getting under the skin: an interview with Elena Oancea

    Elena Oancea is a tenure-track assistant professor with her own group at Brown University, where she explores the biology of skin pigmentation and the skin’s responses to light. When she is not a scientist, she is a mother but, as her children tell her, more often than not she is both.
  21. Modelling metabolism: an interview with Keren Yizhak

    Keren Yizhak majored in computational biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently a PhD student at the School of Computer Science at Tel-Aviv University, where she uses computational techniques to study biological phenomena, focusing on the metabolic changes that occur in cells during cancer and ageing. She will move to the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT in March 2015 to begin her first postdoctoral position. Her main interest outside of science is ballet dancing, which she finds a source of inspiration and discipline.
  22. Understanding the evolution of defence: an interview with Maurijn van der Zee

    Maurijn van der Zee is a tenure-track assistant professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands. His primary interest is to understand the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie evolutionary change in animals, but recently he has been exploring a new field: innate immunity in insects. Six months ago he became a father for the first time ‘to a beautiful daughter’. His first PhD student also graduated very recently: he says that this also felt a bit like becoming a father. Maurijn also enjoys writing popular science articles for the Dutch press and giving public lectures.
  23. Helping to fight tuberculosis: an interview with David Dowdy

    David Dowdy is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he researches tuberculosis.
  24. Imprinting memories: an interview with Katja Kornysheva

    Katja Kornysheva is a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London and the Department of Neuroscience, University Erasmus Medical Centre.
  25. Food for thought: an interview with Ana Domingos

    Ana Domingos of the Gulbenkian Science Institute in Portugal has forged a career learning why we like certain types of food. By looking at the reward system of the mouse brain, she has revealed pathways that explain why animals prefer sugar, and perhaps why it may factor so strongly in the Western diet.
  26. From ancient DNA to decay: an interview with Jessica Metcalf

    Jessica Metcalf of the University of Colorado is rapidly becoming an expert regarding the science of death. "I've been into dead things for a while," she told eLife. "They hold a lot of information."

Contributors

  1. Emma Pewsey
    Emma Pewsey
    Associate Features Editor