2016 Career Day


4th of April, 2016 at the MPI-CBG

The 2016 event will take place on the 4th of April at the MPI-CBG. The event will be held in the main seminar room. Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided during the breaks.

The event will host a variety of guest speakers from various scientifically relevant fields. The speakers will describe their unique backgrounds and will provide advice to young researcher looking to pursue careers beyond and including the academic path. To see the schedule for the day please download the event poster from the following link:

Schedule for Career Day 2016

A list of speakers can be viewed below. You can also browse past symposium topics and invited speakers.

Please note that the Career Day will conclude with a Meet the Speaker Mixer, giving you a chance to engage in informal discussions with the speakers over light refreshments. Don't be shy!


Max Haring

Executive Editor, SpringerPlus

Max Haring is Executive Editor at SpringerPlus, Springer Nature’s first and only OA journal for research in all disciplines, where he is busy setting up Springer’s manuscript Transfer service called the Transfer Desk. In an average week Max makes sure the SpringerPlus team has everything they need to keep the journal running, he tries and keep track of all developments that may be relevant for SpringerPlus or manuscript transfers and he answers author queries and nudges manuscripts through the system. Max is based in Dordrecht in the Netherlands.

Max has been with Springer since 2007, where he started as associate publishing editor in the Biomedicine unit with responsibility for journals and books in microbiology, genetics and ageing. In 2012 his job changed as he set up and launched SpringerPlus. Before Springer Max did a PhD project at the University of Amsterdam investigating an epigenetic rarity in Maize.

Magdalena Strzelecka

Development Lead, Software & Data Analytics, NGS QIAGEN

Magdalena is a molecular biologist - turned - data scientist. She received her Master's degree in biotechnology from Jagiellonian University and Ph. D. from MPI-CBG/TUD. In 2009, she moved to the Bay Area to work as an EMBO Long Term Fellow and associate specialist at the University of California, Berkeley. She spent her days at the bench and nights - pursuing interests in big data technologies, precision medicine, and business and entrepreneurship. In 2015, she joined Qiagen as a senior software engineer focusing on bioinformatics and data analytics. She is now a development lead of one of the core technologies supporting Qiagen's Sample to Insight vision.

Udo Klotzki

Consultant (Fellow Senior Associate) at McKinsey & Company, Inc

Prior to joining McKinsey & Company, Udo studied mathematics at Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, University of Waterloo, and ETH Zurich. Currently he is an actuarial student at the Swiss Association of Actuaries and will become soon a certified “Actuary SAA” and a "Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary" (CERA). Furthermore, Udo is an doctoral student at the Department of Insurance Economics and Risk Management, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

Norman Gerstner

Head of the MPAA Ad Hoc Committee “Career Service”

Norman studied biology in Jena, Germany, and chose an entrepreneurial path by entering a small BioTech company in 2007. As part of an interdisciplinary R&D team, he contributed to the development of a novel point-of-care diagnostics platform. After the prototype was completed, he left the company and joined Marino Zerial’s lab in 2010 to do his PhD and postdoc work, investigating how cells process information in a complex in vivo environment. From 2012 – 2013, Norman headed a team of PhD students that organized the 2013 “Visions in Science” conference. During that time he met the people who later founded the Max Planck Alumni Association e.V. (MPAA), the official alumni network of the Max Planck Society (MPS). From April 2016 on, Norman will lead the pilot project to establish the MPAA “Career Service”, which will provide a central platform for MPS scientists to promote their individual career development. Primary goal of the Career Service will be the development of a career network that links MPS scientists to MPS alumni, as well as to companies and organizations. Through this service, MPS PhDs and postdocs will get access to essential information and an expanded professional network that enables them to shape their professional future in an optimal way. Transitioning to the next career level will become exciting, rather than worrisome!

To fill in a survey concerning support for Max Planck Society scientist in career development please follow this link:

Career development survey

Denise Stenzel

Clinical Research Associate, Novartis 

Denise is a freelance clinical researcher currently working with Novartis pharmaceuticals, an international pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland.  She is currently working with clinicians on a variety of phase 1-3 trials from heart disease to cancer.  She obtained a PhD in cancer research from University College London and from 2009 she was a postdoctoral researcher here at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Wieland Huttner’s lab before joining the training program for Novartis in 2014. 



Birte Sönnichsen

Project Manager, Life Science Inkubator Sachsen

The Life Science Inkubator is a unique incubator concept in Germany, supported by the German government, local governments of the Bundesländer, German research organisations and private investors. LSI supports young teams who want to transfer their innovative ideas for products and technologies into a commercial setting. We provide financing for the spin out project for up to 3 years, help with project management, shaping of the team, protecting IP, and transfer into the company, including financing. Birte´s job includes scouting for new projects, evaluation of teams and their proposals together with the LSI team in Bonn and external experts, and finally support and management of incubation projects at the LSI in Dresden. Birte´s background is in cell biology. After her PhD in Göttingen, she went for postdoc positions at Cancer Research UK and EMBL. In 2000 she joined newly founded Cenix BioScience at EMBL and helped moving it to Dresden. She worked in Cenix management for 12 years before joining LSI in September 2015.

Hui Zhang

Postdoctoral researcher, Miltenyi Biotec

Hui has been a postdoctoral researcher at Miltenyi Biotech in Cologne since 2014. Prior to this, Hui was a field application specialist at Bio-Rad laboratories, providing application support for products such droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), quantitative PCR (qPCR), Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), High Resolution Melting (HRM) analysis. Hui achieved a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. In 2001 Hui was a research and teaching assistant in molecular biology and neurobiology at the Nantong University.


Christian Rudolph

Director of Quality Control, Roche Diagnostics GmbH

Dr. Christian Rudolph is Director of Quality Control at Roche Diagnostics GmbH in Penzberg, Germany. After the completion of the Biology studies (Diploma in Microbiology) and PhD thesis at University of Regensburg, he changed to University Hospital Regensburg. This function has been a combination of scientific coworker and responsibilities in patient healthcare. By joining Roche in 2006 he starts the industrial career as responsible manager in the culture collection at Roche Diagnostics GmbH in Penzberg. Since 2011 he switched to different positions with rising responsibility in Quality Control and is now responsible for the release of bulk and raw materials in Diagnostics Operations Penzberg. Within this function he is now responsible for more than 70 coworker.

Christina Fonseca

Education Coordinator, Royal Society of Chemistry

 Christina is an Education coordinator for the Royal Society of Chemisty. She obtained her PhD in clinical neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh in 2014. She has many years teaching experience and has been actively involved in the development of problem-based approaches to learning for over 5 years. Here she has written case studies for problem base learning based on clinical scenarios with the aim to consolidate and expand student's knowledge of the learning objectives for the course. From 2013 she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh.