This being my first blog entry, it must almost by definition be an introductory post. Major aim: by the end of it you should be able to describe me in a short sentence. Subaims: to guess what my blog tendencies are – and possibly decide if you are interested in knowing more (at the end of the day, first impressions are very impactful. Nobody reads a paper if they are not intrigued by the abstract).
I am Tatiana Álvarez, I’m a woman (phenomenally) and PhD student at KI. I study ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation and try to find small molecules that can modulate this system – primarily, inhibit it to eliminate cancer cells, which depend on effective ways of getting rid of their waste before intoxicating themselves.
Back at school, I never thought on becoming a scientist. I could not wait to finish high school to finally stop studying math and focus instead on what I thought would be a career in journalism. In the Spanish system, you choose an elective track for your last two years of high school – technology, life sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities. It made full sense to me that journalism + not good at math = humanities. Still, I struggled and had a very stressful summer break because I felt bad closing the door to a whole spectrum of knowledge. Enrolled to humanities anyway. After my first Latin class, I went down to reception and asked if I could change my elective track, “as soon as possible”. “What do you want to do?” Life sciences, I found myself convincingly answering. I was terrified and thought I would not make it, but there I was, applying to the life sciences track. With math, chemistry and everything. Well, there is no regret whatsoever. However, a part of me never left the humanities track.
And here is where we reach the part about my blog tendencies: I am fascinated by people, their stories (including, if they do science, their discoveries) and how to communicate them. Not only with words, but in a myriad of channels. What I aim to do here is to share some of my thoughts about the eternal struggle of a generalist in a rather specialized environment, and to do some peer review: what drives us to make science, and ultimately laugh a bit about it – about us. I will complement all these with, I will try, interesting resources. Worst comes to worst, you could skip all my writing and still get something cool out of coming here.
Thanks for reading, and welcome!