Ninon Möhl im Labor

PhD student Ninon Möhl receives Fellowship of the Joachim Herz Foundation and Fulbright Scholarship

Ninon Möhl is a research associate at the DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in the research group of Prof. Laura De Laporte and investigates polymers and biomaterials. She recently received both the Add-on Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Life Science from the Joachim Herz Foundation and a Fulbright Scholarship. Her plans for the use of the funding are already fixed.

In her dissertation, Möhl is working on high-throughput platforms for the modeling of kidney diseases. To this end, she primarily uses functionalized microgels and cell cultures that are grown specifically to replicate kidney architecture. "My aim is to synthetically engineer the renal tubule in order to test drugs and study diseases more efficiently. This could lead to alternatives to existing treatment methods for kidney diseases. My work is very interdisciplinary because I use not only polymers to produce microgels, but also cells to make my model biologically relevant and computer-based simulations of microfluidics to analyze my production method from a theoretical perspective," explains Ninon Möhl. With the support she receives from the Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Life Science from the Joachim Herz Foundation, she will acquire better hardware and software for her laboratory work. Möhl is also already planning to attend further workshops to expand her knowledge as a chemist in the field of biology and computer-based simulation.

The Fulbright scholarship will enable her to spend six months in the USA as part of her PhD thesis. "I have chosen the working group of Prof. Heather Maynard, UCLA California. I will be working with her on a dynamic polymer system that can potentially be used as an injectable hydrogel. In particular, I would like to deepen my knowledge of polymer chemistry and the characterization of materials and hope that our two research groups will work closely together even after my visit," says Möhl.

Furthermore, she has another personal goal: "As a female doctoral student in the STEM field, I would be happy to be an inspiring role model for women in the natural sciences. I hope that my work will encourage more women to choose a career in technical or scientific professions and promote diversity in this field," emphasizes Ninon Möhl.

Scholarship holders of the Joachim Herz Foundation are supported with a sum of up to 12500 euros over a period of two years. The funding is linked to interdisciplinary further education and training measures. The program is aimed at doctoral candidates, postdocs and junior professors whose work is interdisciplinary in nature.

The German-American Fulbright Commission (Fulbright Germany) facilitates academic exchange between the USA and Germany. A scholarship is aimed at doctoral students and can be used for study, research, teaching and further education stays in the USA.