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30 under 30: Visualizing Cells’ Interior Landscapes

Meet Fabian Erdel, one of the promising young chemists attending the 2013 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting



Courtesy of Fabian Erdel

Each year hundreds of the best and brightest researchers gather in Lindau, Germany, for the Nobel Laureate Meeting. There, the newest generation of scientists mingles with Nobel Prize winners and discusses their work and ideas. The 2013 meeting is dedicated to chemistry and will involve young researchers from 78 different countries. In anticipation of the event, which will take place from June 30 through July 5, we are highlighting a group of attendees under 30 who represent the future of chemistry. The following profile is the ninth in a series of 30.


Name: Fabian Erdel
Age: 25
Born: Schwetzingen, Germany
Nationality: German

Current position: Postdoctoral researcher at German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) / Heidelberg University
Education: Bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology as well as diploma degree and PhD in physics from Heidelberg University

What is your field of research?
My area of research is visualizing the behavior of proteins in living cells; in particular I study the chromatin enzymes that control the cell’s epigenetic landscape [epigenetics is the study of changes in how genes work—for example, an epigenetic change may cause cells to produce more or less of a certain protein]. My goal is to understand the function of these factors based on mobility and activity mapping.

What drew you to chemistry, and to that research area in particular?
I find it fascinating to study the molecular processes and prerequisites of life, the basis of which is chemistry. That’s why I’m intrigued by the potential of chemical and biochemical research for deepening our understanding of living organisms.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I’ll hopefully lead a research group, trying to unravel and manipulate the mechanisms that make cells healthy or sick.

Who are your scientific heroes?
The research community as a whole, since virtually every breakthrough is built on foundations laid by many others.

What activities outside of chemistry do you most enjoy?
Playing the piano, playing and teaching Ping-Pong.

What do you hope to gain from this year’s Lindau meeting?
I hope to meet many interesting people at Lindau who share their enthusiasm about science with me. I’m curious to know other views on ongoing research and hot topics that affect our everyday life. Moreover, it will be exciting to learn about strategies and concepts to overcome common hurdles in academic life. Thus, I expect Lindau to be an inspiring experience.

 

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8. Christine Le
30 Under 30:
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
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10. Evelyn Auyeung

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