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Meet Kathrin Ljunggren

1. Tell me in 5 words who is Kathrin Ljunggren?
Contagious laughter, Vice President of the FC Bayern fan chapter, Non-scientific looks, R autodidact, Short curly hair – don't care.

2. What made you join CeMM?
The clear research goal “from bench to bedside” was something that definitely caught my attention as that has always been and still is, a major driving force for me. I also loved the fact that there was hardly any publication not involving several CeMM groups at once, the broad range of available techniques and the strong international spirit. The fact that the institute moreover always encouraged exposure to not only other sciences, but also the arts was very appealing to me, too. And hey, once you've experienced the people, the building and the rooftop terrace firsthand, it's hard to not get drawn to that place.

3. What is it about science that interests you the most?
I am a very rational, but also curious person and thus the concept of science is something that comes very natural for me. There's nothing like being at the forefront of something, discovering new things and understanding how things work out or interact with each other. I can't think of any challenge humankind has been facing where science was not one of the main pillars to make it through successfully.

4. What is the best career advise you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
This might sound odd, but don't listen too much to career advice! Dare to go your own way, trust your intuition, and make some unusual moves. We should stop thinking of careers as curves where the ultimate goal is to constantly chase an ever-increasing slope. Enjoy the ride instead, stay open and alert to opportunities that pop up along the way and always choose what's most intriguing to you. The paths traveled by few or none might be the most exciting and beautiful.

5. Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
Well, I didn't listen to all the advisers saying that you cannot start working in industry in another country and specifically in Sweden right after your PhD and just went for it. Of course, the road has not always been easy. There's no caring CeMM back office staff helping you with everything from housing to the international equivalents of MA 35 and other administrative let alone personal challenges. But the experience has taught me so much in so many aspects of life. I wouldn't want to miss it for a thing!

6. What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
My dad has instilled a love for Thomas Bernhard in me. “Heldenplatz” is my favorite! So incredibly spot on and witty. A true gem and cultural antidote in crazy times like these.   

7. What is the last song you heard?
Not really a song maybe, but Jessye Norman's version of Schubert's Erlkönig recorded for “A Portrait” is insanely good and the video installations are going to be familiar to all of you! Check it out on youtube here.

8. Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Always cool to hear from any of you guys! And don't forget that the Alumni network is what we all make it to be! So come and get engaged in whatever way suits you most!

Katrin started out her PhD at CeMM in the group of Jacques Colinge, but became a member of Giulio Superti-Furga's group when Jacques left to become a professor in France. She established methods for the characterization of membrane and surface proteomes at CeMM. Having completed her PhD, she moved to Sweden and started her professional career within the medical device and pharma industry. She's held positions in both R&D and Quality and is now responsible for out licensing of a unique anti-infective surface technology worldwide. In her spare time, Katrin loves to discover Sweden's fantastic landscape and particularly Stockholm's archipelago by sailing boat together with her little family on two and four legs.