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2012 Working Group Young Investigator Award price winner: Interview with Susanna Sluka

Susanna Sluka received a Young Investigator Award in recognition of her outstanding work : "Tissue factor disulfide mutation causes a bleeding phenotype with gender specific organ pathology and lethality", during the ESC Congress 2012.
This award was sponsored by Peprotek.

Basic Sciences, Pharmacology, Genomics and Cardiovascular Pathology

Q1: Why did you decide to get into cardiovascular research?

A1: I am generally interested in molecular mechanisms of diseases and especially in those of high relevance for the broader population. During my Master's thesis, I have been working in cancer research and afterwards made the move to cardiovascular research. Soon after, a family member was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and had to undergo a successful bypass surgery. This personal component emphasized the importance of this area of research to me.

Q2: What led you to start this specific research project and/or lab?

A2: The current controversy about the mechanism of tissue factor encryption was arousing our interest. As the relevance of the C-terminal disulphide bridge was only investigated in vitro so far, we decided to investigate its relevance in an in vivo model.

Q3: What do you think was the secret of your success as Young Investigator?

A3: Dedication and curiosity are the key to my successful work in research, and the persistence to stay on track even in difficult times.  But of course, the project's success would not have been possible without the help and support of my group and collaborators.

Q4: What did you most enjoy of your time in cardiovascular research?

A4: I really enjoyed participating in international conferences like the ESC congress. The size and variety of topics is amazing. Leading to the ESC 2011 in Paris, I participated in the Tour de Coeur which was organized by the Swiss Society of Cardiology. We cycled from Bern to Paris!

Q5 (if applicable): Will you stay in research or plan to go back to clinical activities?

A5: I do not have a medical background but come from human biology. So, going back to clinic is not really an option. But I really enjoy the intellectual challenge in research, the collaboration and exchange with other researchers. Working in research is a privilege that I would like to enjoy as long as possible.

Notes to editor

Susanna Sluka is PhD student at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, chaired by Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher.

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.