My name is Birgit Wever and I started my PhD at the Cancer Center Amsterdam in September 2019. Within my PhD, I focus on cancer detection in urine. My projects have a translational nature in which both laboratory and clinical research come together. As a PhD student with a biomedical background, this was the perfect fit for me

How did you roll into your PhD?

Cancer is a complex disease affecting millions of people worldwide, making it an important and rewarding field to step into. I discovered my interest in contributing to the understanding of cancer and improving cancer care throughout my Bachelor’s degree and decided to pursue a Master in Oncology. During the final internship of the Oncology Master at the VU University, I worked on lung cancer detection in urine at the University of Illinois at Chicago in collaboration with the Amsterdam UMC. I got the opportunity to continue working on this project and my PhD trajectory was born

How is it going so far? 

My PhD journey has been a great one so far, thanks to good supervision and wonderful colleagues. On both a scientific and personal level, I have grown a lot. Cliché but true: the biggest challenges turn out to be the most valuable lessons

What do you like about your PhD trajectory? And what don't you like? 

I like being in a large research group in which we all work towards the same goal and motivate each other. There is always someone available to help you out and celebrate minor or major achievements. Being in charge of your own projects from the beginning was exciting but also challenging as a starting PhD

Why are you proud to be an Amsterdam UMC PhD student?  

It is great being a PhD student in the vibrant city of Amsterdam. The building might not be very appealing from the outside, but the Cancer Center Amsterdam provides an inspiring work environment in which clinicians and researchers work closely together to improve cancer care. Being an Amsterdam UMC PhD student also allowed me to be part of the Association of Amsterdam UMC PhD Candidates (ASAP) board. ASAP strives to support the rights of all Amsterdam UMC PhD candidates on a national level and organizes fun networking events and workshops for PhDs

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