Skip to main content
ISTA Alumna Janina Kowalski smiling in front of a staircase

WHERE?

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL BASEL, SWITZERLAND

AREA OF WORK

AT ISTA

Janina Kowalski was a Postdoc in the Jonas group. She now works as a neuroscientist, psychiatrist, general practitioner, and trauma-therapist in Basel, Switzerland. In April 2022 she visited the ISTA campus to take a walk down memory lane and answer some questions about her work and career.

WHAT’S THE ESSENCE OF YOUR JOB?

Well, I’m taking care of people, enabling them, helping them find themselves, to find a better way of living their lives, even if they have had serious troubles in the past.

WHAT’S YOUR SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND?

Well I started off as an MD. Then I did a PhD in neuroscience and I was basically working on patch-clamp recordings in the brain. First, in Freiburg im Breisgau and then I moved with my postdoc lab to the ISTA.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE?

I see myself in the future indeed continuing that work but going even more into experimental approaches and into research mostly focusing on trauma therapy.

WHAT ROLE DID ISTA PLAY IN YOUR CAREER?

Well I could dive deeper into basic science techniques and the thing I cherished the most here was the connection between different groups from different fields. Not only from neuroscience. That was very inspiring for me.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES OF ISTA?

Well, the nights on the bridge during late focused research times. Chatting to other people from other labs. These were quite amazing.

CAN YOU GIVE THREE PIECES OF ADVICE TO CURRENT ISTA MEMBERS?

Follow your ideals and your heart and your brain. Don’t pick only one. And talk about yourself, talk about troubles, look for other people, who might want to listen. And: Don’t let yourself get distracted by what the global opinion is. Do your thing. Stay true to yourself.

Anton Mellit receiving the 1st ISTA Alumni award
© ISTA

For the first time, ISTA presented an outstanding achievement award to an alumnus. The ISTA Alumni Award went to former ISTA postdoc Anton Mellit, an outstanding mathematician who, according to his former group leader Prof. Tamas Hausel, “works in four to five different areas of mathematics simultaneously and achieves extraordinary success.” The Ukrainian is currently an associate professor at the University of Vienna and has gained international attention for his work on knot theory, algebraic combinatorics, algebraic geometry, and number theory.