Two new “RNA & Infection” PhD students just started
Janet Schneider and Chia-Ling Chou join HIRI’s graduate program
The HIRI welcomes two new PhD students to its graduate program “RNA & Infection”: Janet Schneider and Chia-Ling Chou have recently begun their work at the institute.
Janet graduated from the University of Bayreuth. She received her BSc in Biology and her MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Janet's research focus lies on molecular biology: She studied enhancer RNAs in neuronal development and applied CRISPR editing to tag RNA-binding proteins in various model organisms. Janet also investigated a light-activated CRISPR-Cas9 variant in Drosophila.
Chia-Ling obtained a dual BSc in Applied Biology and Life Sciences from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University and the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem and Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She then completed her MSc at the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, France, and the University of Freiburg. As part of her master’s thesis, she worked at a US research company characterizing bacteriophage polymerases. After completing her MSc, she began working at a pharmaceutical company. There, she focused on synthesizing various RNAs on a large scale and using these in high-throughput techniques for RNA structural analysis, gene expression analysis, and compound screening.
Both rotate through three labs of their choice at the HIRI before settling on a group and PhD project. Chia is starting with the Saliba lab, and Janet is currently part of the Beisel lab. “I'm especially looking forward to getting to know the different HIRI research groups and what they focus on,” Chia says. “By rotating through the labs, you get a good overview of what is being researched at the HIRI. This is tremendously helpful when it comes to choosing a lab and topic for your PhD,” adds Janet.
The graduate training program at the HIRI is unique. Potential students do not apply for a specific lab and a predetermined topic, as is the case with other programs.
Instead, successful applicants are first exposed to three different laboratories at the HIRI. During this rotation phase, HIRI’s research groups compete for the PhD students before the latter decide on their desired lab.
In close cooperation with the group leaders, the PhD students are then expected to define their PhD topic independently.