Testimonial Cristina Ghirelli


Cristina Ghirelli
PhD student
U932 « Immunity and Cancer »

 Why did you come to the Institut Curie?
When I decided to do the “Leonardo Project” the main reason that encouraged me to choose the Institut Curie was the scientific programme. I wanted to work in a laboratory where I could improve my skills and delve deeper in my scientific knowledge. I studied “pharmaceutical biotechnology” at my university in Italy. My academic focus was mainly centered on molecular biology, biochemistry and pharmacology. I found that the scientific programme proposed by the group of Dr. Vassili Soumelis in U932 “Immunity and Cancer” was the closest to my background.

Can you describe your experience here?
When I started the project I was really enthusiastic. After six months I had some encouraging data and together with my supervisor, we decided to start a PhD programme to follow up the results. Overall my experience was very enriching and interesting, and it is something that I would recommend to anybody who wants to see how research works outside of Italy.

What are the advantages of being at the Institut Curie?
The Institut Curie has many advantages for students and postdocs. I would like to list four main characteristics of the Institut Curie that make it an advantageous place from my point of view.

  1. A great variety in terms of knowledge, techniques and scientific diversity. This is a good way to engage in collaborations and take advantage of all the expertise of groups that work on different projects.
  2. A great diversity of seminars and lectures
  3. Researchers can work in tight collaboration with medical doctors thanks to the structure of the center. Thus, translational projects or clinical studies can be performed thanks to this close collaboration.
  4. A great cultural diversity: About 50 nationalities are represented at the Institut Curie.

What are your future projects and how can the Institut Curie help you in this regard?
I just finished my PhD. I will spend a few more months here in the laboratory to finish my work and after that, I will look for a post-doctoral position in a foreign laboratory. The world-wide recognition of the Institut Curie and its international PhD Programme will facilitate contact with other research organizations.