Meet Hatoon Baazim
1. Tell me in 5 words who is Hatoon Baazim?
Arab-woman, scientist, artist, dancer, writer (when I push myself).
2. What made you join CeMM?
CeMM was clearly different, I could see that from the moment I looked at the website and read the description of the PhD program application process. It was a place where individuality was appreciated, and quirkiness and eccentricity were celebrated. Those impressions were definitely confirmed in person. There was a lot of excitement for science and art, which is always a good combination, and I could just see myself there.
3. What is it about science that interests you the most?
The idea of pushing the borders of the unknown. When you make a discovery and you start finding evidence that supports it in different ways and the story starts coming together, it's beautiful. And then there's another stage of excitement when you get to take that and share it with people in your field and hear their take on it. It takes long hard work to get there but it is very rewarding.
4. What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
Know yourself in best way you can and open yourself up to possibilities. Doing a PhD is not only a period of scientific growth but it's also a time for accelerated personal growth and introspection. That's partly because of the nature of the job but also largely because of the brilliant people surrounding you, their perspectives and unique life experiences.
5. Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
I moved to Boston to start a postdoc at Harvard. I arrived in the US just in time to witness the COVID-19 pandemic unfold along with everything else 2020 brought so that was an "impactful" life experience for sure. Since then, I have had the chance to explore life in Boston and the east coast and I've made many news friends and have upped my dancing game.
6. What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
The fall of Hyperion. An interesting though grim take on the future of humanity as intergalactic species. The last book I read that blew my mind though was called "There's no Antimemetic Division". This was one of the most mind twisting things I've ever read.
7. What is the last song you heard?
"Let me do my thing" Jordan Max.
8. Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Enjoy your time at CeMM! Make the most of it, you're in a unique place.
Hatoon Baazim did her PhD in the group of now CeMM Adjunct Principal Investigator Andreas Bergthaler. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Gokhan Hotamisligil Lab at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston (USA). She is interested in the metabolic consequences of pathogen-induced organelle remodeling, and its intersection with obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction. With a focus on adipose-lung crosstalk during respiratory infection.