Early Stage Researcher

Ying-Chieh Wu
My project:
12 | Endothelial-macrophage interaction in human Alzheimer-patient-specific blood-brain barrier models
Ying-Chieh Wu
Host Organisation:
Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland

What is your project/research about? What would you like to find out?

My topic is mainly about investigating the interaction between macrophage/microglia and brain endothelial cells in Alzheimer-patient-specific blood-brain barrier (BBB) models. BBB is a special structure to protect the brain from circulating pathogens and toxins. In many kinds of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, BBB breaks down. However, the mechanism is not clear. Therefore, I would like to find out the mechanism behind this and how the interaction between microglia/macrophage and endothelial cell influence BBB integrity in brain disorders.

Why did you apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN and especially this project?

For me, the reason why I apply for a Marie Curie ITN program is that I heard the program fund junior scientist start their research career and it also forms a great network for researchers. Besides, I think if someone has a specific interest in one topic, then applying for a Marie Curie ITN program was suitable for them. That is because the supervisors in one program have their common interests. As for me, I am interested in neuro-inflammation related studies very much. Hence, I already planned to continue my Ph.D. study on this topic. Sometimes when you apply for the one school, you would find out there was no research topic that fits your interest eventually. The project I apply for is related to the BBB research in Alzheimer's disease. My close family was suffered from AD before, I want to devote myself to the research and to figure out the mechanism or even to develop an efficient treatment. I think this project provided me with these opportunities. That is the reason why I especially fascinated by this project.

What is so fascinating for you on research in general?

I am a curious person, so find out a problem and try to figure it out is quite interesting part for me. Doing a research is more or less the same as it. Moreover, doing a research could sometimes be helpful for human beings, such as curing the disease or improving the quality of life. Actually, doing a research could be boring and exhausting sometimes. However, once I think this could be helpful for some people, everything is worth. That is why doing research is so fascinating to me.

What do you do in your free time? Do you have special interests/hobbies?

I usually watch movies or play computer games to relax. At the weekend, I would like to go mountain hiking or visiting some tourist spots with my family or friends. Astronomy is also one of my hobbies, it is very comfortable to go out into the night and looking at the sky and starry. It is also fun to learn the starry names and patterns overhead.

What are your plans for your future? Where/what you will be in 5 years?

First of all, I wish I could complete my doctoral research and have some papers published within 5 years. After that, I think I will proceed with neuro-inflammation related research in the academic institution as a post-doc or researcher if I have a chance. The biotechnology industry also could be a possible option. I have worked in a contract research organization (CRO) company for almost 2 years. In my personal view, it was also an interesting and challenging job to do. I am not sure which career I will choose, but I think everything worth to give it a try.

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