What is your current activity?
Currently, I am working as a clinician-scientist at the University Cancer Center Hamburg. As clinician, I am the attending physician for the sarcoma outpatient care unit. As a post-doctoral researcher I am running a partner lab together with a molecular biologist with a research focus on DNA repair alterations in prostate and testicular cancer. Apart from this, I am chairing the young oncologists working group of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO) and within ESMO I am active member of the ESMO Young Oncologist Committee and the Resilience Task Force with a special interest in modern education and improvement of young oncology professionals’ work environment to prevent burnout.
What motivates you?
Fighting cancer from both sides, clinics and research is very inspiring and motivating. Asking questions from a clinical point of view and and translating them into research projects with patient impact is what makes being a clinician scientist my area of interest. The complexity of cancer patient care, the ever growing multimodal armamentarium to treat cancer and the various patients’ needs demand interdisciplinary cooperation and thus I very much enjoy being part of inspiring teams of clinicians and researchers. Beyond this, helping to assess and address the needs of young professionals in the field of medical oncology within dedicated teams of societies such as ESMO is also a huge motivation. Making a difference in future cancer care together is what I’m after.
Why did you choose to become a medical oncologist?
Cancer in general is a life threatening and clever disease and as such extremely interesting to study. Medical Oncology is a rapidly evolving field with an incredible pace in the development of novel treatment options based on basic, translational and clinical research results, which are rapidly being implemented into patient care. The close interaction between research and clinics in medical oncology is fascinating to me and the option to do both as clinician scientist within dedicated teams of interdisciplinary specialists has made me become a medical oncologist.
What does your involvement with ESMO and the Young Oncologists Committee (YOC) mean to you?
ESMO has given me invaluable support and helped me to develop my career through providing a network of enthusiastic young oncologists within the YOC, where I learned that networking is key to personal development. Being part of the YOC is very inspiring and I am really grateful for this experience, which also led me to establish a YO working group within the German Society of Hematology and Oncology.
Moreover, ESMO was awarding me a translational research fellowship at The Manchester Cancer Research Center and Christie NHS Foundation Trust, nominated me as YOC representative for the EMUC scientific committee, invited me to contribute to the summer schools for med students, lately allowed me to participate in the 2021 class of the leaders generation programme (LGP) and to become a member of the Resilience Task Force to help improve the work environment for oncologists across the globe.
Nothing left to say but THANK YOU ESMO as all this just came to me since I became a YOC member and got involved in ESMO YO activities.
Do you have some good advice you would like to share with your international colleagues?
ESMO is truly dedicated to improve cancer care virtually everywhere and ESMO appreciates that today’s YOs are the future of medical oncology. ESMO provides a networking platform for YOs and ESMO is really keen to support YOs wherever they are. So my advice really is to familiarise yourself with all the great opportunities ESMO provides for networking, education and personal development, including the YO tracks at the ESMO conferences, the preceptorships and other courses, and so much more. Get in touch and get involved!