Meet Zsuzsánna Réthi-Nagy: FEBS Junior Section members' interview series

This interview series aims to introduce members of the FEBS Junior Section from FEBS Constituent Societies and their national Junior Sections, highlight their work and scientific interests, and inspire young scientists and students to join the initiative.
Meet Zsuzsánna Réthi-Nagy: FEBS Junior Section members' interview series

Our interviewee is Zsuzsánna Réthi-Nagy, a PostDoc Researcher from the Hungarian Centre Of Excellence For Molecular Medicine, HCEMM. Zsuzsánna is a founding member of the Junior HBS, the junior section of the Hungarian Biochemical Society (HBS), a FEBS Constituent Society.

Photo of Zsuzsánna Réthi-Nagy facing the camera and holding a book.
Zsuzsánna Réthi-Nagy. Photo: personal archive.

What motivated you to pursue a career in science? Why did you choose this field?

Mathematics, chemistry, and biology were my favorite subjects during my school days. Biology held a special place in my heart because it delves closest to life and humanity. It sparked my desire to nurture a passion to assist and support others.

Briefly introduce your research topic. What is the purpose of your research?

Throughout our research, we delved into exploring how the microbiome impacts the development of cancer. We investigate how our everyday lifestyle and routines play a pivotal role in shaping our microbiome. When there's an imbalance, known as dysbiosis, it can contribute to the onset of cancer within our bodies. Our aim is to unravel the intricate relationship between our body and this crucial microbiome, seeking a deeper understanding of their interconnection.

What excites you most about your work or research?

I'm genuinely thrilled by my research. Unraveling the link between our microbiome and overall health has the potential to significantly enhance the lives of thousands of people. The prospect of offering a path to a better life through this understanding truly inspires me.

Among all the scientific discoveries of all time, which is your favorite? Why?

One of my most cherished scientific breakthroughs involves the isolation and combustion process of Vitamin C, a discovery credited to Albert Szent-Györgyi, who coincidentally worked at the same university where I'm currently employed. His groundbreaking research is revered for its transformative impact on both the world and the scientific landscape in Hungary.

What do you do as a scientist to make your work interesting and accessible to the public?

I have always been interested in scientific communication. I learned skills that I could use to catch the public's attention. Nowadays, I take presentations in schools, and we do workshops for students who want to improve their knowledge about scientific communication. In the future, I want to rewrite scientific articles for the public so that they will be informed about new discoveries.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies?

In my spare time, I like active activities. I find joy in running, cycling, and engaging in various types of sports that keep me moving. Exploring the capabilities of my body through these activities is something I truly relish.

How did you learn about the FEBS Junior Section? What motivated you to become a member?

The first time I heard about the FEBS Junior Section was on the YSF in Vimeiro. When I came back home, we started to organize our own initiatives (visit the Junior HBS on Instagram).

What is the importance of getting involved in FEBS Junior Section activities for students and young scientists?

Within the FEBS community, you'll encounter individuals who share your field of interest. This connection can significantly benefit your scientific career, offering opportunities for collaboration and assistance in experiments. FEBS events provide a platform to delve into various aspects of scientific communication, including article and grant writing. Additionally, these events offer a valuable chance to listen to presentations from your role models. Last but certainly not least, the FEBS community fosters the potential for forging lifelong friendships.

What advice would you give to aspiring students/scientists?

My advice for students is always to take advantage of the opportunities. Travel and make friends with other scientists, and persevere with your dreams.

Where do you see your career going next?

In the future, I want to spend my young postdoc years at HCEMM Cancer Microbiome Research Group. Learning a lot and developing my skills to be a good scientist is a good possibility.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

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