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The faces of Dynamic42: Lab Manager Katja

The faces behind Dynamic42: Lab Manager Katja

The faces of Dynamic42: Lab Manager Katja

Happy 3rd anniversary Katja!

Katja Graf has been a team member since the first day! In the beginning she helped us to set up the Dynamic42 laboratory, supported the implementation of protocols and workflows in the lab as well as in procurement. She further was and still is responsible for the training of new laboratory staff. Today she is the lab manager at Dynamic42. With her long-time experience in research regarding human biology, microbiology, biochemistry, quality management and Organ-on-Chip models, she is an essential part of our team. Katja is responsible for coordinating all lab work for R&D projects and contract research services. She is the hub of the lab and links it to our management.

 

In 2004, Katja already worked with our CEO Dr. Knut Rennert in the same lab, where he first sparked her interest in alternatives to animal testing and advanced cell culture models. This ultimately led to a later collaboration and joint establishment of chip technology in cooperation with the Hans-Knöll-Institute (HKI) Jena.

Lab Manager Katja Graf

Lab Manager Katja Graf

Katja studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Jena Friedrich-Schiller-University in the diploma programme until 2006. Following, she completed her PhD at the HKI until 2012 and graduated with the highest grade (summa cum laude). During this time, she focused in particular on investigating survival mechanisms of shoot fungi (candida glabrata) in macrophages. After her doctorate, she also began her postdoc at the HKI. There, her research focused on the investigation of symbiotic interactions of yeast fungi (candida albicans) with bacterial microbiota. In these projects she made her first practical experiences with the use of human intestinal models on a chip.

 

In addition to her postdoctoral position, she briefly taught at the Vocational School for Health and Social Affairs in Jena and held the project coordination for the SkillsLab of the Jena University Hospital. There she led the project “Integration of the SkillsLab method into nursing education”.

Katja looks back on the last few years with pleasure: ``It was exciting to face the challenges of setting up a lab in a start-up company. The last three years have been inspiring, demanding, challenging and have helped me grow tremendously on a professional and personal level. I am proud to be involved in developing and commercializing a pioneering technology such as organ-on-chip and also extremely happy to be part of such a friendly and dynamic team.`` - Katja Graf, Lab Manager & Senior Scientist.

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