Science is like a puzzle; it is all about studying the characteristics of small pieces and subsequently integrating them and thereby forming a bigger picture. My studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Zurich equipped me with a toolbox of methods to elucidate the characteristics of individual pieces, yet more importantly, they taught me the importance of fostering connections, within and among different disciplines.
It is a great honour for me, supported by the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala, to follow my passion for interdisciplinary natural sciences as a Herchel Smith PhD student in Biophysical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK. I am very grateful for the opportunities to learn from Cambridge’s expertise, particularly, but not exclusively, in scientific regards. My thesis focusses on understanding the organisation of matter on the mesoscopic scale. By applying physical principles to biological systems, we aim to obtain key insights into the mechanisms of protein self-assembly and subcellular organisation. Both aspects are crucial for cellular function, and thus a range of pathological conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, or type II diabetes, are linked to problems in controlling the formation of supramolecular structures.