Margaux Claes

22 years old, Belgian.


Margaux speaks French (native language) and English

Education: Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Liège.

Why did you apply to the GIGA Doctoral School? I am mainly motivated by the training program that is part of the GIGA Doctoral School program. This training will give me useful skills that will, without doubt, play a crucial role during my PhD and further career.

Hobbies: I like running, swimming and spend time with friends. I also like to go hiking while watching the wild and taking pictures.


Benedetta Cecconi

24 years old, Italian


Benedetta speaks: Italian (native language), English, French

Education: Bachelor in Philosophy from University "Alma Mater Studiorum", Bologna (Italy), Master in Cognitive Neuroscience from CIMeC, Rovereto (Italy).

Why did you apply to the GIGA Doctoral School? I had the opportunity to do a 9-month internship at the GIGA laboratories. During this period, I have seen first-hand conduct high level research with the most advanced technologies and world-class researchers. However, the thing I found most remarkable was the highly interdisciplinary environment with an extensive international network offering possibilities for international collaborations.

Hobbies? I like road bike, hiking and when I have time - travelling!


Lucia Rodriguez Rodriguez

29 years old, Spanish.


Lucia speaks Spanish (native language), English, French and Dutch.

Education: BSc Biotechnology and MSc in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Utrech, The Netherlands

Why did you apply to the GIGA Doctoral School?

I applied to GIGA doctoral program because of its multidisciplinary approach, in which you can get to connect with different expertise and areas of research. Furthermore, I like the fact that in this program you are involved from the beginning on the design of your own project for the following 4 years.

Hobbies: I like to practice diverse types of sports, from body combat, to running or yoga. I am fascinated about psychology and I enjoy reading and learning more in this subject. Furthermore, I am a very outgoing person, I love travelling and I enjoy music festivals.


Sofia Melo

24 years old, Portuguese.


Sofia speaks Portuguese (native), English, French and Spanish (basics)

Education: Integrated Master’s Degree in Bioengineering (Molecular Biotechnology field) – Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Portugal

Why did you apply to the GIGA Doctoral School? When speaking about Science, interdisciplinary approaches represent an extremely important advantage to me, given the possibility to merge distinct fields from Biology to Engineering or Pharmaceutics to solve a problem. For that reason, I became interested in GIGA Doctoral School, which predicts a dynamic pathway, allowing the students to get to know different labs and projects, potentially collaborating with each other. GIGA also captivated me through the possibility of working in a challenging environment, where Biotech companies are growing, but also where researchers are close to the real-life clinical issues. Lastly, I was also very enthusiastic about moving to a different city, immersing in a new lifestyle and growing as an open-minded individual.

Hobbies: Whenever I find some free time, I love to go out for a run and my favorite workout spot is near the beach. I am also a big fan of festivals, concerts and live shows in general. I really enjoy practicing yoga, dancing and reading.

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