In today's episode, we interview Dr. Marta Porniece Kumar. Marta by training is a neuroscientist and currently in a wrap-up Postdoc phase at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research. During her doctoral and current postdoctoral research phase in a strategic partnership with industry she is excited to understand how hormones access the brain to control systemic metabolism and ultimately lay the foundation for development of brain-specific targets to treat obesity and diabetes. In this episode, Marta tells us more about her PhD research, what it was like to do a PhD in partnership with industry, and what the structure of her PhD program looked like.
Since 2018 she has been actively involved in Max Planck PhDNet network at different roles and working on several career related projects, e.g. raising sponsorship funds for N2 event in 2019, hosting online web-series talks with speakers and alumni of MPS, being founding member of Career Evolution web series, and leading the Career Development & Conference working group. At the end of her PhD she continued the momentum and brought her experience and network into Max Planck PostdocNet, where she now serves as a spokesperson. In the interview, Marta tells us about how they pivoted to very successful online events during COVI-19.
Marta enjoys exploring new places and spaces through running, she regularly competes with her colleagues at the local running events. Lastly, she balances her research and voluntarily work with parenthood of two school-aged children and is currently working on solidifying the next steps in her career. We talk about her experience as an academic parent of primary-school-aged children, and the support she appreciated as a parent during her PhD.
We round off the interview with the questions we ask all our interviewees about their best advice to PhD candidates, how to set boundaries to work, how COVID-19 impacted their work, and what a day in the life looks like.