Archive PhD Testimonials

Roosa Laitinen,Postdoc with Detlef Weigel (2007 - 2011)

Roosa Laitinen,
Postdoc with Detlef Weigel (2007 - 2011)

Currently Group Leader at the MPI of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm

”I came to the lab of Detlef Weigel in February 2007. On the first day, I was told that only my imagination will be the limit to what I can do. This was true. Max Planck Institute in Tübingen provides extraordinary possiblities to perform cutting edge research and follow and explore your research ideas; even the most crazy ones. it was the perfect place to prepare for independent research career. One of the greatest things was to meet and share this time with amazing people from all over the world, many of whom became close friends and colleagues. It was one of the best times of my life, and enriched both my scientific and personal life in ways I could not even imagine on my first day.”

Johannes Söding,Postdoc with Andrei Lupas (2002-2007) 

Johannes Söding,
Postdoc with Andrei Lupas (2002-2007)

Currently Group Leader at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen:

”I came to the MPI in Tuebingen in 2002 to start my new life as a bioinformatician with Andrei Lupas. I had a PhD in physics and had spent 3 years in industry before (Boston Consulting). The Max Planck institutes are probably the best places to do fundamental research in Germany, from the quality of the researchers to the strong support by admin and other services. The science I learned prepared me optimally for my following career in bioinformatics. The institute’s new building with its fantastic terrace on which we often had a chat and a beer on Friday afternoons is another strong point. And then Tübingen, where our two first children were born, with its old town next to the river Neckar, its castle and surroundings: it is just breathtakingly beautiful. For those who like to run or walk outside, it will be hard to find any nicer area than Schoenbuch forest just 1000m north of the institute. “

Eunyoung Chae,Postdoc with Detlef Weigel (2002-2017)

Eunyoung Chae,
Postdoc with Detlef Weigel (2002-2017)

Currently Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore, Department of Biological Sciences:

”I would say, MPI Tübingen is the right place for an early career academic who dreams about enjoying science and growing to a full-fledged scientist. My time there was filled with lots of aha moments, excitement, learning, developing and networking. I feel so grateful for considerate support from the society and directorship, which provides a solid platform for us to spring upon. One should not miss the seminar series and the opportunities to talk to the speakers in person - such academic vibrancy made me reflect on ongoing research and most importantly myself as a scientist. Another big lesson that I got during my postdoctoral years is that good science is borderless, and I learnt how to work with other People regardless of distances in their academic background. Tübingen with iths great childcare system is definitely a place for postdocs who want to enjoy family life as well in this safe, peaceful University town. Highly recommended!”

Erik J. Ragsdale,Postdoc with Ralf Sommer (2010-2014)

Erik J. Ragsdale,
Postdoc with Ralf Sommer (2010-2014)

Currently Assistant Professor of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington:

“I joined Ralf Sommer’s lab in 2010, where I developed research program integrating developmental genetics with natural history and evolution. The MPI was a great place to do this. The research environment was intellectually diverse and truly international, built from a stimulating - and, in practice, very helpful - range of expertise. This environment offered the challenges needed to defend and ripen ideas as well as to find new ways of just getting things done. The philosophy of the research environment also afforded me healthy amount of risk and intellectual space. There were really no boundaries to what I could do, other than those imposed by own ideas and personal accountability. While there is probably no “one size fits all” research environment for early-career scientists, I can say that the MPI was just the right place for me to build the research program on which I started my own lab.”

Dirk Linke,Postdoc with Andrei Lupas (2003-2013)

Dirk Linke,
Postdoc with Andrei Lupas (2003-2013)

Currently Professor for Molecular Biology at University of Oslo:

”I worked at the MPI for Developmental Biology for more than 10 years as a PostDoc and later, Project Leader in the Department of Protein Evolution. I enjoyed especially the interdisciplinary evironment and the well-equipped laboratories and central facilities at the MPI - over the years, I have made many personal friends all across the campus and started collaborations that were the foundation of my career. The supportive and interdisciplinary atmosphere of the department I worked in, and the freedom to do what I am best at, has made me the scientist I am today.”

Photograph: Dag Inge Danielsen,

Angela McGaughran,Postdoc with Ralf Sommer (2010-2014)

Angela McGaughran,
Postdoc with Ralf Sommer (2010-2014)

Currently Decra Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra:

”when I first arrived in Tübingen at the MPI, I was a little overwhelmed! It was such a long way to come from New Zealand and my husband and I had taken a huge step leaving our lives behind, with no Deutsch under our belts and no real idea of what to expect. Several months later, we were settled in, taking German classes, and loving it already! Tübingen is such a great little place, with beautiful old buildings and a lovely cultural feel. From a work perspective, I felt very fortunate to have the benefit of working in such a well- funded and well-equipped institute. In the Sommer lab, I had the enviable freedom to pursue my research interests in a really flexible , interactive working environment, with a lot of support at all levels across the institute. My husband and I made life-long friends in Tübingen, and we truly miss Germany and the MPI!”

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