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Alumni Uni Würzburg - 1000 Careers One Story


Research on Antibiotics at the Biocenter of JMU


Dr. Ana Brochado, resaracher at the Biocenter of JMU Wuerzburg, is part of the chair for microbiology. Her recent field of interest is to find out how current antibiotics work. In a short interview she gives an interesting insight into her work.

Dr. Ana Rita Brochado, Leader of a research team at the Biocenter of JMU, Chair for microbiology.
Photo: Robert Emmerich (Image: Robert Emmerich / Universität Würzburg)

Which one is your most favorite memory from yout time at Wuerzburg University?

I joined the JMU in 2019 to start my independent research group. This is altogether a very unique situation. The first day I step foot in the lab I thought: “This is my lab!”. I had lots of mixed thoughts - some frightening, but I definitely felt a huge excitement to put all the cool research ideas out of my head, and into the lab. The lab still needed a renovation though, but it was a start! Few months later I was awarded the prestigious Emmy Noether fellowship by the DGF to further support my group. It was also an awesome day/week. And now, despite all the challenges, it is great start working everyday with a great team! I look forward to the great memories that will still come in the upcoming years. I am very grateful to the University, Biocenter, Faculty of Biology, and the junior program from the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases (ZINF) for their full support. In particular, I am grateful to Prof. Thomas Rudel (Chair of Microbiology) to host me, and Prof. Cynthia Sharma (IMIB) for mentoring me, and engaging me in exciting collaborations.

How would you describe your current job to a layman?

Ah, this is one is easy! Together with my research team, we work in the lab to understand how disease-causing bacteria react to antibiotic treatment. The idea is to understand how current antibiotics work, so we can design better ones for the future. 

What is the biggest challenge in your job? 

For me personally, the biggest challenge is to get a perfect balance between the time I spend working, and the time I spend with my family. They are both demanding, part of who I am, and absolutely critical to make me happy.

What particular part of your job do you like the most?

This a tough one! There are many things that I like about my job. Perhaps the freedom & creativity. They are a fundamental part of basic research, and very rewarding. Just the feeling to try out a new experiment is very nice - specially when it works! I also really like to share ideas and new findings with others, them being colleagues in a conference, or students here at the university.

Which advice would you give students to help prepare for similar careers?

Do what you like, and take one step at the time. In any case, work hard and enjoy it!