Celine Hafkesbrink began her bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Cologne in 2018. Throughout her courses, she obtained several internships in various research fields. She began her lab experience at CECAD Cologne (Cluster of Excellent Aging Research) as a working student, learning basic DNA extraction skills, western blotting as well as protein purification of Alzheimer related proteins. She performed her Bachelor thesis in the field of redox biochemistry, working on the role of conserved cysteines in the maintenance of mitochondrial morphology by culturing HEK293 cells and performing viability assays, western blot analysis and affinity precipitation assays. While starting her master’s degree 2021 in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cologne she worked on the interaction of ALR and CPOX and its influence on the hemoglobin Biosynthesis by performing protein purification and protein activity analysis.
During her second master’s semester, Celine’s interest and passion for cancer research increased significantly and specifically for Neuroblastoma after listening to a presentation about Neuroblastoma and its spontaneous regression. She already performed a six-month internship at Karolinska Institutet, focusing on the modelling of Neuroblastoma using genetically engineered human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) by culturing and differentiating hiPSC, and performing RT-qPCR, IF-staining and FACs. As of April 2023, Celine will be undergoing a five-month internship in harnessing scRNA-seq data to identify therapeutically targetable vulnerabilities in neuroblastoma for preclinical validation studies.