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Hirad Daneshpour

PhD Student
(October 2016 - Present)   


What is the difference between a physicist and a biologist?
By asking this question I am not starting with a poor science joke here but rather asking myself a serious question. At first these two interesting creatures do tend to consider themselves to be different from each other. Physicists usually look for general and fundamental laws and in doing so, they try to understand multiple mechanisms (just call them ‘things’) at once. They always come up with their beloved Newtonian laws or their remarkable quantum mechanics as their weapons. Moreover they may bore or scare you by giving ugly flashbacks to your high school physics classes. Biologists, on the other hand, develop ideas preferably from detailed observations and can keep on talking for hours aobut lovely little red flowers in their backyards. Imagine now one would combine such a biologist with a physicist, what species would we get? Well, definitely a creature that is able to see as a biologist, act as a physicist and probably think in a way that both of them could. The big questions in the world of biology have always interested me and I really do dare to approach them. Basically, I am fascinated by ´things that go wrong´. Like certain cells that at some point that behave as if they are uncontrollable children who disobey their parents despite their parents warning them, eventually transform into cell types that are linked to one of the most common and deadliest diseases known to us: cancer. What drives me is applying all my skills from my training in physics to understanding these crazy cancer cells and to contribute to eventually developing general methods for curing the disease. Here, in the Youk Lab at the Bionanoscience Department of TU Delft, I am taking steps towards a better understanding of cancer as a researcher and one the hybridized creatures that I mentioned above.