A Personal Touch of Claire Waterborg

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Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Claire Waterborg






1. Name, nationality, current function, department and theme?
Claire Elisabeth Joyce Waterborg, Dutch, PhD candidate, Experimental Rheumatology, theme Inflammatory Diseases.

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years?
When I was really young, I wanted to become either an astronaut or interior designer. Apparently, I wanted to understand how the universe and everything works and make things cozy at home (this still applies). When I went to high school, I ambitioned being a politician. However, I realized that during politics you will need to make a lot of concessions and view everything in gray vision rather than seeing things black and white (the latter fits my personality a lot better). During my last years in high school, I realized I still wanted to know how everything works, but more at a molecular level, and combining this with seeing things black and white, I decided I wanted to go into the direction of biology. I didn’t particularly like the idea of working with complaining patients all day (sorry not sorry for the prejudice, physicians), so I chose biomedical sciences.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I performed a bachelor of Biomedical Sciences in Leiden and the master Molecular Mechanisms of Disease in Nijmegen. When I started my bachelor I wanted to know how the human body works in health and sickness in a clear-cut manner. Now I realize that biology is as grey as politics, except the people are a lot nicer and often (but not always) more trustworthy.

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
What I do every day when I come into the lab: understand how the TAM receptors work and how they play a role in rheumatoid arthritis. 

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
I don’t really have a great example. I get more inspired by people talking passionately at conferences about recent advances than old-school scientists. 

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
I don’t get proud when I have discovered something, to be honest. I can be really enthusiastic about it, but not necessarily proud. To me, it seems odd be proud of something you didn’t invent. We just find ways to interrogate biology but in all honesty, anybody could do it (although I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me).

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?
Parabiosis experiments in mice during homeostasis and several experimental arthritis models. Ideally, but unethically, I would like to perform these experiments in humans, too (haha). 

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
It is tidy and dust-free. Everything is always in place and I can immediately tell if someone has been using my stuff. My desk represents my personality and clearly shows that I am quite neurotic (in a good way). 

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Peter van Lent, and the question is: what is your favorite cell type after the macrophage?

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?:
b) Theater or cinema?:
c) Dine out or dine in?:
Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat?:
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?:
Shopaholic (and a little workaholic)
f) Culture or Nature:

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