A DAAD RISE alumni, Min Ku spent the summer of 2016 gaining hands-on experience working at a cutting-edge biomedical research center at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU). He loves science – Molecular Genetics – to be exact, as well as traveling the world and exploring other cultures. He is now volunteering his time as a DAAD Young Ambassador to help promote Germany as a destination for study and research.

Our DAAD network is a vast and global net of connections between DAAD and its award winners, ambassadors, alumni, grant holders, future applicants – all united by their love for study and research abroad and all things German.

We asked Min Ku a few questions about his work and experience in Germany:

  1. What sparked your interest in Molecular Genetics?
    As a child I had Tourette syndrome and I really wanted to find out why I have this condition. I thought studying genetics would provide me with an answer!
  2. What are you currently working on?
    I am currently working in a lab where we study rare genetic disorders with unknown cause. I am currently investigating a very severe form of immunodeficiency, and trying to find what’s causing it in our patient.
  3. What was the most ‘German’ experience you have had?
    The most German experience I had was when I visited the English Garden in Munich and feasted on German food; in one hand I was holding a humongous jug of beer and in other hand a “Schweinshaxe” bigger than my face.
  4. What advice would you give to students who are thinking of choosing your field of study?
    I would say explore as much as you can; biology is such a broad field and there would be plenty of subjects that you catch your attention!
  5. What advice would you give to North American students who are thinking of studying abroad in Germany?
    I would say go for it! Exploring the world when you are a student is an extremely valuable experience that you won’t be able to have after you graduate; regardless of the field you are currently in.
  6. What did you like best about the DAAD RISE program?
    The quality of research and the valuable connections I could make with my fellow DAAD “RISErs” and the people I met in my lab was something that I extremely liked.  It was rewarding academically as I was able to learn a lot about research, but also culturally, as I traveled around Germany and Europe and experienced the rich diversity within each culture.
  7. Which pictures, plants or unusual objects are there in your room/at your desk?
    I have a huge poster of a hand holding a giant croissant.
  8. Can you cook a German meal without a recipe? If so, which one?
    “Currywurst” – I have never tried it but I think it’s very simple: first boil the sausage, and top it with curry powder and ketchup!
  9. Do you have a favorite writer, politician? Or someone who has inspired you on your journey? If so, who and why them?
    My current supervisor, Dr. Caluseriu, is my current role model. Just like her, I want to be an enthusiastic and caring clinical scientist who aims to solve the genetic mystery that’s causing so much pain to some patients.

Editor’s note:
Schweinehaxe: a roasted ham hock (the end of a pig’s leg)
Currywurst: pork sausage topped with curry ketchup

Learn more about Min Ku, the DAAD RISE scholarship, and the DAAD Young Ambasador Program.

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