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Ulf-Peter Guenther, Ph.D.

Ulf-Peter Guenther, Ph.D.


Berlin, Germany

Role at Department:

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Jankowsky Lab.

CASE is a unique working place.

CASE is an interesting working opportunity for (future) biochemists. The department of biochemistry is home of research activities with a broad focus and provides access to a wide range of scientific and technical expertise as well as experimental equipment by itself but in part also through numerous collaborations and connections with other departments or research institutes on the campus. For instance, my host lab, the Jankowsky laboratory, is also part of the Center for RNA Molecular Biology at CASE, which encompasses more than 14 laboratories with focus on RNA-related research. In my case, these facts made the department of biochemistry a unique working place and were part of my considerations (whether or not) to go to Cleveland.

I’m working on a cool project.

With the experience of a couple of years in science, I think, I know now when a research project is really cool. In the Jankowsky lab, I’ve found the rather rare opportunity to work on a perfect postdoctoral project: I can deepen my insights in many aspects of RNA helicases (which I like very much) and make myself familiar with new technologies (for example Next-Generation Sequencing). This fills me with enthusiasm every time when I think about it.

Cleveland is better than its reputation.

Life in the US of A is naturally quite different from my life in Germany which makes almost every single day a new and exciting experience for me. When I asked Americans back in Berlin, Germany, for their opinion of Cleveland, I learned that the City of Cleveland itself is generally not very well perceived. But no one whom I’ve asked has actually ever been to Cleveland.

So, I have found out that Cleveland and Cleveland Heights (which is next to the CASE campus) are better than their reputation. There are cool places to go out at nighttime and many bands have CLE on their tour map. I’m far from knowing what the City of Cleveland has all to offer but, for example, it has teams in the NBA, NFL and MBL (I, like many Europeans, have naturally no idea of these kinds of sport but I’m starting to like American football) which means that there are major American sport events downtown. I ran the Cleveland Marathon and I’m thinking of taking my chances at the Towpath Marathon this year which goes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Apart from sports, the university offers a plethora of off-lab activities, ranging from recreation to cultural events of any kind. Since there is a strong international community at CASE and the Cleveland Clinic there is always a chance to get to know to people from all over the world.

Biochemistry is fun (and we have a lot of it in the Department).

It may be a risky statement but in favor of my view speak firstly the numerous happy hours we have and secondly, the annual faculty skit at the department’s Christmas party. I cannot wait for the one this year….