Krzysztof Kucharz, Assistant Professor16. January 2020
What motivated you to become a scientist?
As far as I reach back, I have always been an annoyingly inquisitive child, challenging everything I have been told. This resulted in many spontaneous home-brewed experiments and a few little fire accidents at home. My terrified parents extinguished the fires, but never my curiosity. I always believed that behind all the complexity of the world around us, there are still buried some simple truths that patiently wait to be uncovered. Finding these is my main driver as a scientist.
How did you end up doing what you do today?
I finished my BSc and MSc in biophysics at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. In parallel, I had worked as an exchange student at Lund University and spent two years internship in biotech companies in Uppsala, Sweden. The latter sparked my interest in fluorescence microscopy. I have always been thinking with images and the brain is still a labyrinth to explore. Therefore, I decided next to channel my interests as a PhD student in neuroscience at Lund University, Sweden, and later as a post-doc and Asst. Professor in Martin Lauritzen group in Copenhagen, Denmark.
What are you working on at the moment?
My primary tool is two-photon fluorescence microscopy in vivo. Currently I am involved in various RIBBDD projects, ranging from identifying mechanisms that control BBB integrity and transport mechanisms in health and disease to real-time assessment of drug delivery across the BBB with cell-penetrating peptides and nanoliposomes. These all have a common goal: to better understand the BBB “black box ” and develop a novel class of biotherapeutics.
What do you think the most exciting thing about being a scientist is?
Overcoming challenges to make what previously seemed impossible a routine, and putting your predictions to test with empirical experiments. The moment of clarity when all puzzle parts come together is the biggest reward.
What do you do when you are not working?
When time permits, I enjoy historical strategy games, classic Sci-Fi novels, and tinker with 3D graphics. Recently, I am reading up on the possibility of life on Jovian moon Europa to keep up with increasingly difficult questions from my 5-year old daughter determined to become a xenobiologist astronaut.
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