ImPressed by Brains, Plants and Molecules
Photo No. 98: ImPressed by Brains, Plants and Molecules (Open in new window), Author: , Date: November 30, 2014
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Science: observing, studying and experimenting to learn how the world works

I was taken away by botany and medicinal plants long ago I started to study pharmacy and I wished to have my own herbal apothecary since I was a child. Later I started to feel the desire to look into the world of research and science. I wanted to explore, to answer medical questions, and find new approaches in therapy, to be part of discussions, to learn new things, and be constantly impressed and fascinated. This is what doing science means to me!

I basically enjoy studying of any kind and learning how things work. I liked almost all the fields that I went through at the Faculty of Pharmacy (Charles University in Prague) and  had difficulties to decide which area should I choose to research for my Diploma thesis. Eventually I worked on the thesis in Sweden at Stockholm University at the Department of Analytical Chemistry.

I was impressed by mass spectrometry already before I left for Sweden. Hence I aimed deliberately at the Swedish university as it had a high level mass spectrometry equipment and offered good research topics. Once I got back home I was convinced that my next life adventure will bring me to research. Doing PhD seemed to be a logical step.

I decided I wanted to continue backing up my pharmaceutical knowledge with more technical skills and therefore went for doctoral studies of analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry is a profession that makes significant contributions to many fields of science. During my PhD training, I have thus broadened my knowledge of chemistry, instrumentation, computers, and statistics to solve problems connected to environmental and pharmaceutical quality control and to clinical research.

My PhD research was based on the development of analytical protocols for a novel molecular imaging technique: mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). MSI is a highly interdisciplinary field that benefits from the collaboration of biologists, chemists, engineers and informaticians. Having been exposed to a high degree of interdisciplinary and international research, I thrive at the interface of different scientific fields.

You can read about my PhD journey in the series My Journey to PhD. In 2016 I obtained a PhD from Maastricht University (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences) with a dissertation entitled Mass Spectrometry for Multimodal Imaging of Lipids in Brain Tissue. With the work at FOM-Institute AMOLF / M4I Institute in the group of Prof. Ron Heeren I had the opportunity to work in great scientific environment with an excellent supervisor and very inspiring people around.

I am currently part of the team at iugotec Pty Ltd, where we focus on Systems Engineering of advanced sensors for industrial quality control. I am specializing in ion-detection systems for applications across Pharmaceutical Industry and Food & Agriculture.

Through my business, Herbae Thylacini, I am raising awareness of medicinal plants, especially those native to Australia. Herbae Thylacini is a collection of hand-crafted herbal products made from natural ingredients sourced as locally as possible. We are passionate about increasing and sharing science-based knowledge of medicinal plants through a range of research & educational activities.