Dr. Daria Berdnikova

Current professional background:

I am a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow currently working on an independent European project here at the university.

Field of research:

Light-controlled interactions of organic molecules with nucleic acids.

Purpose of your last research visit:

On my last research visit, I performed investigations of organic molecules, which can be applied for light-controlled interactions with DNA.
I design a molecule, synthesize it, check its photochemical properties, and then see if it can targetedly attack the nucleic acid upon irradiation. This approach can be used for killing undesirable cells, such as cancer cells. My current project is dealing with RNA instead of DNA, because this is more perspective for medical and biological purposes.

Relation to the University of Siegen and/or to the local host:

My former supervisor in Russia already had an established collaboration with Prof Ihmels here in Siegen, and they both encouraged me to apply for a short-term DAAD scholarship. After successfully receiving this scholarship in 2011, I came to Siegen to work with Prof Ihmels for the first time. Later on, I returned to Siegen several times to perform small joint projects. In 2017, I finally moved here for my current 2-years long project with Prof Ihmels.

Future projects / Activities:

We are currently 3 months into a 2-year research project. After we have some promising results, we can arrange some collaboration with biologists and biochemists to test our newly developed methods on fighting with cancer and bacterial cells and viruses.

Impressions of Siegen:

I’m originally from Moscow, which is very large, noisy and overcrowded city. Being in such a large city also made me feel separated from nature. So I adore Siegen because it has everything I need and I feel much closer to nature.