Uni:docs Fellow Adriana Savova in an interview


Adriana Savova is doctoral candidate at the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and since October 2017 uni:docs fellow at the University of Vienna.

  • You are working on Linking cargo assembly and autophagosome formation in selective autophagy. Can you describe your research project in three sentences?

Cells are complex systems that coordinate a myriad of processes and thus often end up with an excess of unwanted or senescent material. Autophagy is the process of sequestration and elimination of accumulated particles that are harmful to the cell. After successful degradation in compartments called lysosomes, the basic building blocks of the degraded material can be recycled and used for the future needs of the cell.

  • What are your concrete plans for the next months?

I will aim to master and perform a series of techniques that would allow me to test some core functions of the basic autophagy machinery. The results of these efforts will hopefully give us insight into the future approaches that we will need to take in order to tackle the fundamental question of how the autophagosome is linked to the sequestered cargo during selective autophagy.

  • And finally, what do you like/value most about the University of Vienna? What is your favorite place at the University of Vienna?

I think the University of Vienna is a wonderful institution which supports students through various courses, workshops and fellowship opportunities. International students feel at home here, especially life scientists like myself, who are part of the large scientific community at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories and the Vienna Biocenter Campus.

  • About Adriana Savova

I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, where I completed my Bachelor studies in biotechnology. Subsequently, I moved to Munich to pursue a M.Sc. in biochemistry. For my master thesis, I joined the lab of Anna Obenauf at the IMP, Vienna, whose main topic is cancer metastasis and therapy resistance. For my PhD, I chose the lab of Sascha Martens at MFPL, where I focus on biochemical approaches to dissect the fundamental process of autophagy in mammalian systems.