Alba Nicolás, Alumnus of the Second Term 2018-19

Alba Nicolás Boluda, Murcian by birth, is a true ‘limoncito’ having spent 15 years here with us. She was charactised by her collaborative nature whilst at ELIS, and continues to offer support to our future generation of scientists.  Not only were her attitude and behaviour always exemplary at school, but she was also a brilliant student who achieved impressive academic results enabling her to study Biotechnology at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. From there, she moved to Germany to continue her education, and she is currently in Paris where she is working on her PhD; her doctoral thesis is focussed on Oncoimmunology and Nanomedicine.

A true personification of ELIS values!

Alba, how did the possibility of living in Paris come about?

I moved to Paris in 2014 to pursue a Master in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in the field of Biomaterials. It was quite an adventure since I did not know how to speak a word of French as I had taken German when I was at school. During this time, I also had a chance to live in Heidelberg, Germany for 6 months where I worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

How is the job going? What is it that you like the most about your work?

I still live in Paris, where I am pursing a PhD in oncoimmunology and nanomedicine. The main objective of my project is to find strategies to modulate the extracellular matrix in tumor in order to enhance T cell migration in tumors. This approach will allow for improvements in the efficiency of immunotherapies in solid tumors.

To what extent do you think that your training at ELIS facilitated your current professional life?

I think one of the things that has helped me the most, other than being nearly bilingual in English, is being raised and educated in an international environment. Since finishing at ELIS Murcia, I have had the chance to live in different countries (Austria, Germany, France) and I have realized that I had developed an incredible capacity to adapt to foreign cultures and lifestyles.

What about your spare time? What do you do to enjoy yourself when you’re not working?

My main hobby is travelling, I adore it and have had the chance to visit lots of countries. I am also a big fan of the movies and the theatre.

Finally, where do you see yourself in a few years time?

Once I finish my PhD, hopefully by the end of 2019, I would like to work in a biotech or pharmaceutical company in the field of innovation as a project manager or something similar. But, who knows what the future holds?