New Senior Lecturer appointed to investigate cardiomyopathies

Dr Katja Gehmlich

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences is excited to introduce Dr Katja Gehmlich who has joined in the role of Senior Lecturer. As well as teaching, Dr Gehmlich will be carrying out research with her team. Her interest is in the cardiac system with focus on inherited cardiac conditions (cardiomyopathies) and bio-mechanical stress signalling. 

What attracted you to the University of Birmingham?

I'm amazed by the size and the spirit of the University and its positive energy. I like the fact that it is one big campus, making collaborations outside my Institute easy. Close proximity to hospitals is great for translational aspects of my work.

Birmingham seems a nice city for my family, with plenty to explore. And I am sure my husband won’t miss his daily commute on the M40!

What will you bring to your role as Senior Lecturer?

Over the years, I have worked at different UK universities, have learnt to obtain research funding and grown my own group so I feel well equipped to start a new research group at the University. I am curious about science and meeting new people, and I'm keen to get research started; I can’t wait for cells to grow in the lab!

What are you hoping to accomplish while at Birmingham?

I would like to grow a research group, using exciting technologies, such as induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes and genome-editing, and link this research group to the exciting activities in my institute and further afield (both the University and beyond). My research will contribute to understanding ‘how the heart works’ and what goes wrong in heart disease. Hence, I am keen to establish collaborations with clinicians for translation aspects of my research.

I hope to ‘infect’ students and junior researchers with my enthusiasm for science and will work on helping to implement cultural changes in the work place, making it a great place to study and work for everyone.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?

I am proud of having set up and run my own research group in a very competitive environment without compromising my integrity. I am proud of the student and colleagues developing in my group. I am proud of being a working parent, with a happy five-year-old daughter.

What is your motivation for getting up in the morning?

Well, I have no choice; a little person will make sure I get up! I'm not a morning person so knowing there is a coffee waiting for me helps. Once I get going I am keen to learn what progress the day will bring and I look forward to interactions with colleagues and students. 

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