Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Developing new Strategies to treat Neurodegenerative Diseases
Establishing novel strategies for the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease is the goal of Dr. Fatemeh Mamashli. The biophysicist is working at Ruhr University Bochum with Professor Jörg Tatzelt’s group at the Institute of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry. Her stay is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with a Georg Forster Research Fellowship grant. In the interview she talks about working and living in Bochum.
Ms. Mamashli, what did you do before you came do Bochum?
I have been working as a postdoc at University of Tehran and Istanbul University. There I did what has been a passion for a long time: doing research on protein aggregation and fibrillation and later in Istanbul on ribonucleic acid (RNA) biology. RNAs are the transcripts of the genetic code on the basis of which cells produce proteins. The misfolding of proteins plays a major role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Do you like it here?
Of course, Ruhr University Bochum and this town are the places where I can do my favourite job of research and have a peaceful life.
Why did you choose Bochum?
This is the second time I am in Bochum. The first driving force encouraging me to email Professor Tatzelt was his interesting topic of research which was on protein aggregation related to neurodegenerative diseases. Fortunately, Ruhr University Bochum Research School provided me with Research Explorer Ruhr - and assistantship-grants from November 2021 to January 2022. That was a very amazing chance for me to experience working in Jörg Tatzelt’s lab.
Everything has been optimized in a way that you can focus on your research or your study.
I learned a lot honestly, new techniques and new insights, and I could do some primary experiments, results of which were very helpful in shaping my research proposal and getting the Humboldt grant. However, when I first came here in late 2021, I really enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the lab and the university.
The city is really beautiful and reminds me of my hometown in the north of Iran, Minudasht. There is an atmosphere of education with many students in the city. I guess the students here are a big population. So, it seems there is no distracting thing. Everything has been optimized in a way that you can focus on your research or your study.
What is your picture of Ruhr University Bochum?
Well, let’s start from Professor Tatzelt’s lab. What I found here is the emphasis on a good quality research, which is really comforting. The necessary equipment is available in the lab. There are always novel and innovative ideas, and the atmosphere is so friendly, supportive, and welcoming.
The ultimate goal is to establish novel therapeutic strategies.
As a foreign researcher, I found Ruhr University Bochum very empowering. The International Office is always trying to help and guide. People from the Welcome Centre aided in getting the visa and finding accommodation.
Is there anything, you must get used to?
There are many rules. Of course, I understand that they are for making living together easier on the long term. But right now, they are a bit exhausting.
Could you please explain, what you are exploring?
The main theme is studying the aggregation-prone proteins that are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. I am working on mechanisms underlying the formation of protein aggregates and their toxic activity in neuronal cells. The ultimate goal is to establish novel therapeutic strategies. Until now it’s possible to relieve the symptoms of these diseases but there is no cure.
Is there anything you would like to add?
First of all, I am very grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for supporting my future research. I would also like to thank all the members of Jörg Tatzelt’s and Professor Konstanze F. Winklhofer’s groups for their warm welcome and support.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsors Fatemeh Mamashli for two years with a Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral fellows and experienced researchers from developing or transition countries, who contribute to sustainable development.
21 November 2023