A Personal Touch of Rebecca Koch

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Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Rebecca Koch






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Rebecca Koch, Dutch. Current function: I work as a PhD student on the intensive care department of the Radboudumc, parallel with my training to become an Anesthesiologist. Theme: Infectious diseases and global health. 

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years. 
When I was a kid I wanted to do something exiting, like be a F16 pilot. Or be someone exiting by inventing a panacea for HIV or cancer and make people happy. When I grew up I realized that this was not so easy to accomplish, but still, you should always have a dream.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I studied Biomedical Sciences, with Master Pathobiology, combined with the study medicine, both at the Radboudumc.

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
In my PhD project where I examine immunosuppressive mechanisms and the interaction between bacteria and respiratory viruses,  I want to understand what happens on cellular or molecular level that explains the direction of the immune response, induced by a pathogen or by the host. Also, could the interaction between various pathogens explain why some work synergistically, or induce immunosuppression increasing the susceptibility towards secondary infections. In my training to become an Anesthesiologist, I want to explain the clinical features of disease by cellular processes. I believe this increases insight in disease and leads to better anticipation and therapy.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
Robert Koch, who was my forefather and a pioneering microbiologist. He made key discoveries in public health. He identified the causative agents tubercolosis, cholera and anthrax and received the Nobel Prize in 1905.

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
The fact that not only bacteria induce immunosuppression, rendering the host increased vulnerable towards secondary infections, but that the human rhinovirus, the most common cause of the common cold, induces immunosuppression as well, which I demonstrated for the first time in humans, in vivo.

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
I would like to set up a research Group to invent a medicine for cystic fibrosis (CF)

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)? 
In our office, we follow an empty desk policy. That gives us space to think. I like structure and overview, that makes me sure that I won’t forget anything. A also write to do lists.

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Roger van Groenendaal. I would like to ask him if he would like to have a drink with me

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or  PC:
b) Theater or Cinema:
c) Dine out or dine in: 
Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat:
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic:
f) Culture or Nature:



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