Karin Moelling on Advice to Young Women in Science
  Karin Moelling     Biography    
Recorded: 06 Jun 2006

As a scientist, as a woman scientist, I think there’s only choice, try to stick to good science; it’s your only lifesaver. And I went through very difficult situations and I thought ooph. I went into this field to do science and I like to do it, so that was the best way. I can only give this advice to young women: If you think what you’re doing is interesting, new and exciting, you do it. Right, it could go to everyone, but probably not everyone has so much counteractions and undertows they don’t understand; especially if you are not so well trained in politics. In Switzerland, there’s a network of people and you come as a foreigner into something, which is preexisting; so, you do that always when you are appointed as a new professorship, but you’re pretty high up so nobody is really interacting with you at a normal level. So you are all of the sudden, somebody sticking out. And that is not very much liked in some communities and you can’t help. So the only advice I can give: don’t get involved with intrigues or counteractions and stay out of it and do your research and that’s what I did.

Karin Moelling currently retired professor, still affiliated with the University of Zurich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. She studied molecular biology at the University of Berkely, Califonia. She received her PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Virology at Tübingen in Germany. She did two post-doctoral research at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin (1973-1975), and at the Institute of Virology, University Giessen. In 1977 she received her Habilitation at the University of Giessen in Biophysics on "Replication of retroviruses".

From 1976 till 1981 she was the Head of Independent Research Group at Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, on oncogenes, proto-oncogenes, cancer and HIV. In 1993 she became the Director of Institute of Medical Virology (IMV) and Full Professor at University of Zurich in Switzerland, she held this position till 2008. Between 2008-2009 she was Fellow of Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin and between 2008-2011 she became a Group Leader, Viruses and Cancer at University of Zurich.

Her research focus on retroviruses and cancer from molecular mechanisms to drug design. She is a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. She received several awards e.g. SwissAward in 2007, 4 prices: Czerny Price, Richtzenhain Price, Meyenburg Price and Ansman Price. She was Selected as Heisenberg Fellow in German Science Foundation.