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Alumni Relations

25 October 2013

Magali Michaut interview

Now: Postdoc, NKI, Amsterdam
Was:  EMBL Predoc, 2007-2007, Proteomics Group, EMBL-EBI.

What drew you to the NKI, and what are you doing there.
I wanted to apply my expertise acquired on yeast genetic interaction networks to the cancer field. It was time for me to go closer to home (France) and so I chose the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), which I had heard about from a few friends and colleagues from the ISCB Student Council.

I have been working in the Computational Cancer Biology group led by Lodewyk Wessels for the last two years. The NKI is a great environment to learn about cancer biology via seminars, courses, collaborations, and of course the Friday ‘borrels’. What I enjoy most is the interdisciplinary nature of the projects and the proximity to biologists, pathologists and clinicians. It’s a challenge However, to stay focused on one or a few projects, when you’re surrounded by so many interesting people and exciting projects.

What did you do at EMBL-EBI? How has your time at EMBL helped you?
I went to EMBL-EBI thanks to a Marie Curie fellowship for six months during the second year of my PhD, which I was doing in France. I joined the team led by Henning Hermjakob and investigated how I could transfer experimentally identified protein-protein interactions from one organism to others using protein homology. Being part of the IntAct team enabled me to gain expertise in protein interaction annotation, curation and storage. But most importantly, my stay at EBI was a real push for my scientific life: the highly interactive and dynamic nature of EBI was a fantastic motivation for my projects, and being surrounded by many successful and passionate bioinformaticians was an amazing experience.

While at EBI, I met numerous people from various countries, started to build my network, in particular getting involved in the ISCB Student Council.

How did you find the EMBL get-together at TEM?
I met several nice and interesting people from France, Germany and UK. I even had conversations with colleagues from the NKI, which was very good since I don’t always take the time to connect enough with my colleagues, even though I see them in the elevator almost every day!