Tell me in five words who is Ana Krolo?
Energetic, determined, caring, people loving, hardworking mom of two beautiful boys.
What made you join CeMM?
Upon completion of my experimental work, but not defending the thesis yet I started to look for positions in more translational setting where I would expand my knowledge and learn something completely new. I joined Prof. Dr. med. Kaan Boztug group as a part of NGS technical team. A perfect setting to explore and combine my passions - experimental work, novel technologies, real patients, and direct impact on human health. Already two years in the lab, I defended my thesis while 7 months pregnant. And I should not forget to mention, I had a great support from Dr Boztug and from CeMM to prepare myself for the big day, for which I cannot be prouder how it went.
What is it about science that interests you the most?
What interests me the most is the opportunity to discover something novel. Regardless, whether it is big or small, knowing you enriched the world with a new discovery or fresh perspective/concept is exciting. I love a mechanistic approach to science, really zooming deep into the molecular pathways and molecular connections to understand the basic biology behind the complex picture. I am very much in awe with the new technological advances that we are having in our disposal to tackle certain scientific questions. Trying out new methods and technical approaches in answering whatever scientific question we might have, is something that sparks my interest a lot.
What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
Follow your passion. Science offers so many different possibilities and career paths. So, explore them and find what excites you and makes you happy. The best way of finding that is by talking to other scientists and getting an overview of the type of work they do. Be flexible and agile, ready for a change if your passion changes or other interests arise. Think big, but do not forget to be happy with small achievements, so you do not end up chasing happiness instead of living it.
Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
The Boztug lab moved to Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI), still being well socially and scientifically connected with CeMM and CeMMies. I enjoyed my time at CCRI and liked the fact that we got closer to the patients and strengthened our collaborations within St Anna Children’s hospital. It also gave me a nice overview of all the activities and research that is being done at CCRI. Working in a new setting, meeting, and expanding my scientific network is always exciting for me.
Now for the past three years, I have been working at Boehringer Ingelheim as an Expert lab scientist in the scope of cancer research and drug discovery.
What book do you have on your night table at the moment
Recently I read only Croatian writers, so now on my nightstand is the latest book from Kristian Novak that I got two weeks ago at his book signing in Vienna. From audiobooks, I am currently listening to “The Awakened Family” by Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
What is the last song you heard?
It was a theme song from Ninjago, haha. When Spotify is in my control then it is “I Wish” from Steve Wonder.
Any message you would like to give to CeMMies or a former colleague?
Wherever the path leads you, do not forget to be kind, empathetic, collegial, and a pleasant person to work with or for.
Ana Krolo completed her master’s degree in molecular biology at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, after which she moved to Vienna to pursue her PhD studies. She joined the VBC PhD Program and worked under the supervision of Univ. Prof. Dr. Alwin Köhler as his first PhD student. As a next step, she moved towards a more medical and translational field, joining Prof. Dr. med. Kaan Boztug's group at CeMM as a research technician and a part of the lab's genetics NGS team. It has been three years now that she has been working at Boehringer Ingelheim as an expert lab scientist in the lab of Dr. Martin Aichinger, Department of Cancer Pharmacology and Disease Positioning.