For the next five years, Dr. Classen will receive support from the DFG in order to fund her research on wound healing and regeneration of epithelial cells, such those making up skin, gut and lung tissue.
Dr. Classen has been based at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg since 2016 when she moved her DFG Emmy Noether research group there from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Her journey until then had been markedly international: She received her first degrees from the University of Manchester and the University of Amsterdam, before completing her PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and spending time as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley.
Her particular expertise is the underlying cell biology of wound healing. When an injury happens, the cellular response must be coordinated; it is this response that Dr. Classen is trying to understand. A lot of her work is centred on how cells in fruit fly epithelial tissue use molecular signals to communicate—known as signalling pathways—when repairing injuries. Additionally, she is interested in epithelial cancers as the signalling pathways involved with fighting such cancers overlap with those used in tissue repair. “I am driven by curiosity and the desire to get to the bottom of the new and unknown; I hope that our research will one day lead to a better understanding and treatment of diseases,” Dr. Classen has said of her work.
The DFG Heisenberg grant is named after Physics Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg, best known for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. It is awarded to researchers who fulfil the requirements for appointment to permanent professorship, with an aim to allow them to prepare for a senior academic role while continuing their research.(© AcademiaNet)