How Green Talents influenced my follow-up endeavors: Report by Umarah Mubeen

Umarah Mubeen studied Botany at Forman Christian College in Lahore followed by an MSc. in Industrial Biotechnology. She arrived at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) in 2014 for her research stay and completed it so successfully that she was subsequently offered a position as a doctoral student at the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

I recall the profound excitement and surprise as I learned about my selection for the Green Talents Award 2013. It was a great opportunity not only to learn about the German research landscape and the ongoing cutting edge research in the field of sustainability, but also to present my work to the brilliant minds from diverse backgrounds and collect innovative ideas and support. In addition to the extensive tour to the hotspots of sustainability research, the Green Talents program also offers support for the research stay in Germany to flourish the collaborative scientific exchange. For my research stay, I joined Systems Metabolomics Group at Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPIMP) in Potsdam-Golm. Certainly, it was a prolific and enriching experience both in terms of cultural and scientific aspects.  

My enthusiasm and appreciation for the scientific culture in Germany, specifically at MPIMP, led me to apply for an International Max Planck Research Scholarship (IMPRS) to continue my studies as a doctoral student. During the pursuit of my PhD at MPIMP, I cherished expanding my scientific skills alongside the personal and academic growth while pursuing my PhD at MPIMP in the Experimental Systems Biology group. Over the course of my doctoral studies, I learned and optimized methods for high throughput extraction and analysis of different biomolecules. Apart from the methods optimization, the main aim of my project was to understand the growth signaling in Chlamydomonas, where we focus on immediate changes in the cellular processes upon Target of Rapamycin (TOR) kinase inhibition.

In recognition of my doctoral work at MPIMP, lately, I received the Jeff Schell Award 2019. I feel deeply overwhelmed upon this distinction and must acknowledge my supervisor Dr Patrick Giavalisco for his kind guidance and all the colleagues at MPIMP for their wonderful support.

Essentially, this journey was only possible due to the brilliant opportunity and platform offered by the Green Talents program opening the prospects for outstanding scientific programs, for instance, the IMPRS program which supported my doctoral research at MPIMP. Presently, I am working at the MPIMP as a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Dr Camila Caldana and Prof. Lothar Willmitzer to expand our understanding about the growth signaling mechanisms in photosynthetic organisms.  

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