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(Emine Kilic, 39,
alumna and MD Erasmus MC)

“It might sound crazy, but I have a ‘passion’ for cell division and cancer. It has always fascinated me how cells can grow into a malignant tumour from which people can die. If a subject fascinates you, you’re willing to work hard and spend a lot of time and energy on your work.
During my studies, I spent all my free time doing cell research. In my role as educational coordinator, I always tell students that they have to create their own study. Learn what you need to learn, but also learn what you want to learn
I was only 24 years old when I graduated, so I did a PhD in ophthalmology and clinical genetics. Meanwhile, I am both a retinal surgeon and an ocular oncologist, fighting tumours by radiation or surgery. I recently won an award from the Dutch Cancer Society worth € 650,000 that I can use for the next four years to study the non-invasive detection of eye cancer. That is appreciation for my efforts over the past few years!
My ultimate goal is a professorship. As a professor, I can do even more for patients, partly because it is easier to get funding for research.”

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