Since my first biology lessons in school I have been fascinated by understanding nature and I have steadily developed the strong ambition to become a scientific researcher. I undertook my Bachelor’s and Master’s study in biochemistry at Free University of Berlin, where my research mainly focused on protein folding homeostasis during aging and neurodegenerative diseases in particular of Huntington’s disease. For my PhD I am going to join the laboratory of David Ron at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, where I will study cellular adaptations to the stress of unfolded and misfolded proteins in the secretory pathway. The unfolded protein response (UPR) defends protein folding homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by matching the folding capacity to the unfolded protein load in the compartment. This simple feedback process impacts the function of the secretory pathway and because protein secretion is central to intercellular communication, ER stress and the response to it influences many physiological and pathophysiological processes. With this research I hope to identify new components of this regulatory network to integrate these into an understanding of the pathophysiology of common human diseases, which may one day pave the way for pharmacological intervention in UPR signalling. I am truly honoured to become a member of the Gates Cambridge family and look forward to connecting to other scholars that share the motivation to actively shape our future.