I received my PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Technology Darmstadt (Germany) in 2012. During my PhD thesis I focused on synthesizing new fluorescent ligands to selectively label the notorious protein deposits linked to Alzheimer’s disease in human brain tissue putting particular focus on tau pathology imaging in order to develop new diagnostic approaches for this disease, which is still very limited to date. Efforts thus far have resulted in the discovery of certain areas of the olfactory epithelium and the retina which harbor tau deposits as well. Since the severity of tau load in these regions correlates with the progress of the disease, these results hold potential to detect these deposits endoscopically and, therefore, noninvasively at very high resolution in the living patient.
During the experimental validation of these probes, I gained experience in histochemistry, toxicological evaluation and target affinity determination in vitro and in vivo. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center my research in the Chiosis laboratory is focused on the development of small molecule inhibitors of HSP90 and to gain new insight into the role of this protein in the emergence of neurodegenerative diseases. I expect to expand my knowledge on neurodegenerative diseases and to acquire deep insights into the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and new concepts of cancer therapy based on HSP90 inhibition by the use of small molecules.