I was born in Leipzig, Germany – "behind the iron curtain”. While still young at that time, the events of the peaceful revolution in 1989 and the developments in the following years have shaped much of my perception of the world. Being able to travel to most countries freely is a great privilege and also, I think, brings with it the obligation to listen and watch with respect and an open mind. Following my studies in biotechnology and graduation in biology, I lived and worked in Bristol (U.K.), Zurich (Switzerland) and now in Berlin (Germany). I have always enjoyed working with colleagues from around the globe, discussing different views of life and science.
My science connects various aspects of cardiovascular risk – the immune landscape at sites of atherosclerotic plaques as well as metabolic and inflammatory responses to an exercise challenge. I enjoy the new developments in data science as well as puzzling over cellular models in the lab, seeing whether hypotheses can be translated into practice.
When not working or chatting over a coffee, I enjoy being outside – on the water, in the mountains, or at least jogging along a nearby channel. To me, this is less “training” and more “relaxing the mind” and many problems have been solved on the way!
The EAPC & me
I first got in contact with the EAPC, when it was newly founded and still went by "EACPR“. I always enjoyed the annual congress, ESC Preventive Cardiology (EuroPrevent at that time), which combined meeting old and new friends with working on projects; it brought fresh views and ideas. Later on, I joined the section on "Exercise, basic and translational research“, which was dissolved in the course of the re-structuring of EACPR when it became EAPC. I served on several committees, including the Research Committee and the Communication Committee and chaired the later phases of the ESC Prevention of CVD Programme. While it might seem overwhelming at first, I can only recommend getting involved with EAPC activities early on. Yes, it is a lot of free time spent on projects and publications, but it is also rewarding and a lot of fun! Most of all, I appreciate the different backgrounds of each of us – and the way we each contribute our expertise to the success of a specific project.
What does it mean for you to be EAPC Secretary?
The EAPC has enormous potential through its active members, who burn for the issues of preventive cardiology. I really perceive a special spirit of working together towards a common objective without reservations about the other one´s specialisation or age.
Yet, when I was first elected Secretary in 2018, I had the feeling that groups and sections were not always well connected and information on what´s going on was not always available to all who might benefit from it or from whose expertise a particular project might benefit. In the last four years, despite the restrictions COVID-19 has put us under, the interaction between sections, committees and task forces has increased. EAPC has been very productive and continues to gain respect within the cardiologic community.
We are all sad that we had to go for such a long time without meeting each other face to face, but we did not despair and instead carried EAPC´s spirit through two years of pandemic, including a successful fully digital congress. While initially I was skeptical what it would mean to be Secretary of this association - without clinical training and not even being a professor - I am now proud at what we have achieved together, and thankful and humbled by the amount of time and dedication all of you put into our joint projects.
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