Meet Aya Iizuka, PhD Candidate

Aya is a PhD student in Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology at the University Hospital of Basel, in the Department of Biomedicine.

Half Swiss and half Japanese, she grew up in Switzerland and did her undergraduate studies and Master degree at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) where she specialized in Molecular Biology. She speaks French, English, a bit of Japanese, and is currently trying to relearn German.

More about Aya Iizuka

In her PhD research project, she is interested in the interaction between the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and the human patient. Her group particularly studies deep-seated infections, meaning infections located deep within the body that are hard to remove or treat. Antibiotics that are clinically proven (in vitro) to effectively combat this bacterial infection do not always work in patients (in vivo) with deep-seated infections. Aya aims to understand better why patients with such deep-seated SA infections have treatment failures. In a typical day, Aya works in a lab examining patient samples that she gets from the clinicians at the University Hospital. She also spends time on the computer running analyses. She interacts with medical doctors, data scientists and biologists on a daily basis, and this is something she really enjoys.

Outside of work, Aya enjoys reading books, listening to podcasts, cooking, hiking and travelling. One of her favorite places is the London Science Museum. Among her favorite podcasts are the ones from Lex Fridman, Alex O’Connor and Etienne Klein.

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