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Annika Enejder

Associate Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The Group of Molecular Microscopy, Göteborg, Sweden
Country of birth: Sweden

Educational background: PhD Physics, MS Engineering Physics, Lund University, Sweden; Post-doc at MIT, and LMU Munich, Germany


Annika Enejder

Who or what inspired you to work in science/engineering?
My interest in science was encouraged by my high school teacher. He sent me to yearly Workshops in Science at the Karolinska Institute and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He taught me how to use a high-resolution microscope and allowed me to use it in my spare time. I clearly remember the joy and fascination I felt the first time I saw chromosomes of Drosophila flies with my own eyes. Thanks to his letter of recommendation, I was able to attend a Summer Research School at Lund University, which led to a ticket to the Nobel festivities. What an exciting experience that was for a 19-year-old! I’d like to thank all those high school teachers and university professors who do that little extra. They pass on their interest in science and their morale to the next generation of scientists. With a little bit of encouragement and support one can make a great difference in a young person’s life.

Primary responsibilities of your current job
My group develops new microscopy techniques—we form tomographic images and videos of biological molecules such as lipids in living cells. I plan/discuss new experiments and research questions with my group. We analyze data, discuss results, and how to solve diffi culties. I write proposals to acquire sufficient resources for our research: salaries to my post-docs and PhD students, running costs and equipment. I am responsible for the budget, hiring new PhD students and post-docs, and for external communications such as writing articles and giving presentations. I decide which research projects we should work on, what equipment we need, and who should do what and when. I also organize workshops, conferences and scientific networks.

Advice you wish you had received when you were first starting out
To get in contact with an influential and wise mentor.