Meet the scientists

Cell researcher Sascha Martens and his team

19. Jänner 2022 von Hanna Möller, Margit Kastner
Sascha Martens and his team are investigating the mysterious degradation pathways in our cells. In this video, the biochemists from the University of Vienna reveal what keeps them going – despite failures and being borne away: Team spirit, the passion for a topic and their common goal of making a difference.
© Fonda/Wexplore

"For me, it is a job and a hobby merged in one". Molecular biologist Sascha Martens has found a life's work in researching our cell processes. Every day he tries to uncover the mysterious mechanisms surrounding autophagy anew – "not because I have to, but because I want to". We bring Sascha Martens and his team in front of the camera. What we want to know: What motivates you?

"Scientific work preselects a certain kind of people: People who are simply curious"
Justyna Sawa-Makarska

Curiosity and perseverance are indispensable in science. This is confirmed by a remarkable error rate: "One out of ten experiments goes wrong". What helps in the case of failures and being borne away is the exchange with colleagues who also have become friends not only once.

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Healthy cells, fit brain
A 'waste collection' tidies up our cells. If something does not go according to plan, serious diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's may develop. Molecular biologist Sascha Martens and his team investigate the associated process – autophagy.

What motivates them in particular: Asking questions that need to be answered. The biochemists are studying autophagy, a tiny mechanism that happens every millisecond in all our body cells. If something does not go according to plan, serious diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's may develop. The basic research conducted by Martens’ team thus provides an important building block for therapies and active ingredients of the future. (hm)