Sébastien Brias & Irke Waßmann

Sébastien Brias & Irke Waßmann

August 12, 2020: New HPI PhD student representatives

Wednesday, 12. August 2020

Irke Waßmann and Sébastien Brias have been the new HPI PhD representatives since early August. They take over the position from Berfin Tuku and Johannes Jung.

Irke Waßmann is doing her PhD in the "Virus-Host-Interaction" research department of Prof. Wolfram Brune. Sébastien Brias is a PhD student in the research department "Virus Immunology" of Prof. Marcus Altfeld. The PhD representatives are elected annually by the PhD students of the Heinrich Pette Institute. In a short interview, Irke & Sébastien report why they applied for this position and what they want to achieve in their office:

Why did you decide to become PhD representatives

Irke: Since I am new at the HPI, becoming a PhD representative is of course a good opportunity to get in contact with other PhD students, but also with other scientists and members of the HPI. In general, I would like to get an insight into the structures of the institute as I think this is an important experience when you are part of a scientific network.

Sébastien: I want to be involved in the life of  the HPI  because improving my working environment and having a better understanding of it is important to me.  This is also a great opportunity to train communication and organizational skills on a way that is totally different from my PhD.

What goals do you have during your time as PhD representatives?

Irke & Sébastien: Due to COVID-19 we all are in a special situation since the last months. Social distancing is not only practiced in our private life but also in our work life. During these challenging times, we want to re-connect PhD students with each other but also to the board and scientific council to be able to represent them properly. Furthermore, we also want to continue the work of the previous PhD representatives and support the communication and scientific exchange of PhD students among each other via both regular meetings and re-start of leisure activities as soon as it is possible to do so. Finally, we want to facilitate the integration of new PhD students, as we believe that quickly creating interactions with other students is really necessary and helpful.


The HPI would like to thank the current and former PhD student representatives for their commitment!