Chiara Di Ponzio
What do you do?
I do lab experiments and computational modelling on pancreatic cancer cells. I am studying how resistance to chemotherapy works in this kind of cancer and how we can overcome this issue to improve treatment of patients.
Why did you choose this field?
I studied biomedical engineering because I was interested in the human body and the application of technologies and machines to improve the well-being of people. In my Master's I moved to bioinformatics and decided to work on cancer because I come from an italian city where cancer is a big issue due to the presence of a polluting factory. My goal is to help understand this disease.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I successfully completed my studies and switched to a new research field. I also moved to another country for my PhD and I am proud of the way I am facing all the difficulties this carries along. I wish younger me knew how flexibility and versatility are skills to be confident in.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because I can understand how the world and nature work. It is really an exciting environment. I love that STEM collects beautiful minds to share knowledge with and learn from. I am always excited to see what I will learn every day.
Best advice for next generation?
STEM requires diversity and new points of view. We need forward-thinking women who understand their value and contribute to investigating science. STEM is never boring, so go for it! Give yourself a chance and don't be scared to try and fail. You will learn from it and you will always create new opportunities for yourself.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not, then it's not the end.”