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Meet Tea Pemovska

1.    Tell me in 5 words who is Tea Pemovska?
Passionate, determined, stubborn, impatient, and mom.

2.    What made you join CeMM?
I did my PhD at another EU-Life partner institute (FIMM - Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland and I very much liked the international, interactive, small research institute atmosphere. Thus, for my postdoc, I was looking for a similar environment but still the possibility to grow and further develop as an independent researcher. There was a postdoctoral position available in Giulio's group, for which I ended up interviewing. I was particularly impressed by CeMM, the facilities, the friendly and international environment, and the varied research focus areas. Moreover, Giulio's passion and enthusiasm for scientific excellence in the heart of Europe was particularly attractive. Beautiful Vienna also made it easy to decide to move and join Giulio's lab and the vibrant CeMM community. 

3.    What is it about science that interests you the most?
During my studies, I was always more interested and intrigued by science than any other subject. It constantly fascinated me how the interaction of molecules produced a response. Thus, I knew since gymnasium that I wanted to study science at the interface of chemistry and biology. I was particularly interested in the pathophysiology of a disease, especially cancer, and wanted to work on finding cures (I know a big cliche). Nonetheless, even today, I work on translational cancer systems biology exploiting functional cellular vulnerabilities for effective and innovative cancer therapies.

4.    What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
Surround yourself with people who will safely and respectfully challenge you to continue learning and growing.

5.    Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
In 2020, I was recruited at the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology, the Medical University of Vienna in the Functional Precision Hematology Group led by Prof. Philipp Staber as a senior postdoctoral researcher. The central theme of our research is to push precision cancer medicine from a genetic-centered view to a functional level, where we evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of integrating ex vivo drug testing in clinical decision-making.

6.    What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
"The Gene", by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a wonderful overview of the history of gene revolution told via a personal story. 

7.    What is the last song you heard?
The new prequel series to the Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power soundtrack.

8.    Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Have fun during your time at CeMM, enjoy the experience, work on projects that inspire your creativity, build professional and personal networks, and don’t be afraid to reach out.

Tea Pemovska studied biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She completed her PhD in Personalized Cancer Medicine / Chemical Systems Biology in the group of Krister Wennerberg at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki (Finland). In 2016, she joined the group of Giulio Superti-Furga at CeMM as an EMBO postdoctoral fellow, where she focused on the identification and characterization of metabolic dependencies in hematological malignancies with compound libraries. Since 2020, she is a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Medicine I, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology, the Medical University of Vienna in the Functional Precision Hematology Group led by Prof. Philipp Staber. There she continues her work on determining whether functional precision medicine is feasible and efficacious in guiding therapy choices of clinicians for patients with aggressive hematological cancers.