Quotes from Fellows

The following testimonials are from Postdoctoral Fellows awarded in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with the support of EC-FP7 Marie Curie Actions – People – COFUND Project No: 600406

“I am an Environmental Scientist by training and am now in the field of Environmental Epidemiology, investigating the etiology of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in East Africa. I had high expectations [when I applied for the IARC Postdoctoral Fellowship], but was not fully expecting how transformative and enriching it would turn out to be. It has helped me to realize by true passion for this particular topic or research, while enabling me to utilize my inter-disciplinary skill set to complement the research. I have received mentoring of the highest standard from my supervisor, who has passed on much of her knowledge and enthusiasm for research to me. This has played a big part in my desire to stay on working in the section as a postdoctoral scientist. I stayed on in the Section as a postdoctoral scientist. This is funded by a grant we were awarded during my tenure as a Fellow. This has enabled me to continue working on the same project.”

Dr Daniel Middelton, UK, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2015

“I was a postdoctoral fellow from 2015 to 2017. I am currently still at IARC as postdoctoral scientist funded by my Group. My intention while I was applying for the IARC fellowship was to learn from the expertise of the Agency in dietary assessment and use of dietary tools in cancer risk assessment. At IARC, I have worked with the EPIC database, one of the largest cohorts globally. I have improved my statistical skills, particularly the analysis of associations between dietary and biomarkers of nutrients and cancer risk. I have also learnt a combination of skills including work in an international culturally-diverse environment, public speaking, and social interactions. I believe that the skills I have learnt at IARC are important for my future career as cancer epidemiologist.”

Dr Elom Aglago, Togo, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2014

“I started my postdoctoral in February 2016 (until April 2018) with GCS group supervised by Dr James McKay. I chose to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship program in bioinformatics. I was very motivated to gain experience in this field. The project aimed to detect novel susceptibility genes in renal cell carcinomas. I have progressed well within this quite challenging project and gained experience to a range of aspects of bioinformatics, particularly analysis of next generation sequencing data (establishing germ-line somatic and copy number variants from sequencing data). I do expect that this experience in bioinformatics will help me in my future career.”

Dr Rim Khlifi, Tunisia, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2014

“I expected to enhance my research experience when I applied for the IARC Postdoctoral Fellowship. My time at IARC is absolutely helpful for my career. After the fellowship, I extended my research work [at IARC] until November 2018. Currently, I am doing cancer research at National Cancer Center in China.”

Dr Chunqing Lin, China, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2014

“Currently as an instructor of Medical Oncology division, Internal medicine department, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. I’m a physician scientist, eager to learn and gain advanced experience in scientific research. I applied IARC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Genetic Epidemiology Group under Dr. Paul Brennan as my aim to search for strong academic supporting mentor. The period that I worked at IARC is the most precious in my life. Not only it strengthened myself in biostatistics and bioinformatics workflow, but the supporting system and friendly people impressed me so much.”

Dr Chanida Vinayanuwattikun, Thailand, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2013

“I am currently working as postdoctoral scientist at the Epigenetics group IARC. The project on understanding the epigenetic etiology of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma I started during the IARC Postdoctoral Fellowship tenure has extended further to a large project including 11 countries across 4 continents. This cancer is high incident in developing regions of the world and very little is known about its mechanisms. Our study is the largest genome-wide methylation study till date and the findings are promising which wold substantially improve the understanding of the mechanisms of this condition and also contribute in early diagnosis. We are under preparation of 3-4 manuscripts based on these interesting results. When I applied for this fellowship, my major consideration was to work in a reputed cancer research centre of the world and get an intentional research exposure. Indeed after spending my tenure here I am truly satisfied with the environment and the skills which I developed during my stay. I have learned here the technicalities of genome-wide methylation studies. In addition to this I also worked for the first time in cell cultures. Moreover, I was given the opportunity to help and guide Masters and PhD projects of few students during the tenure. I also wrote few grant applications such as IARC junior investigator award, NIH R21 as PI and co-PI respectively. Although we did not get funded, these all experiences will help me to grow as an independent researcher and will definitely be crucial for shaping my career in future. I am currently working as a postdoctoral scientist at the Epigenetics group IARC.”

Dr Fazlur Rahman Talukdar, India, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2014


“When I came across the IARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme, it took me a moment to understand what more does it offer other than an excellent, multi-national, inter-disciplinary cancer research platform. The generic training? Language courses? Well, those appeared attractive, but frankly, I was clueless until arriving at IARC. Like any other aspiring post-doc, my expectations were also very basic, like gaining advanced knowledge and expertise in cancer virology research, having good publications, and to build collaborative avenues for future. Now, after spending 3 long years at IARC (2 years as IARC Post-Doctoral Fellow and 1 year funded by the host groups), I can say that I have surplused all my expectations. The mentoring I received from my supervisor, Dr. Tarik Gheit, the amount of confidence he showed towards my work have been the source of my constant motivation. Moreover, the guidance of our Group Head, Dr. Massimo Tommasino was instrumental behind all my successful accomplishments at IARC. But what I would really appreciate is the various generic courses organized by the Education and Training Group, especially, the personality development courses. Now, after coming back to my own country (India) and joining a Regional Cancer Center as a scientific faculty, I feel the persona development. Now, I’m building my own lab and started supervising PhD students. I think, one day I shall be able to be a good mentor too. My sincere thanks to the IARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme.”

Dr Sankhadeep Dutta, India, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2014

“When I applied for the Fellowship I was expecting to learn Bioinformatics while building up bridges towards scientific collaboration. I think that my time at IARC has been very enriching in many ways: I have improved my CV considerably, learnt Bioinformatics and Data Analysis from scratch and stablished fructiferous scientific collaborations. Additionally, I really enjoyed the intercultural environment and made very good friends. The skills I gained during these years have been determinant at the time of finding a new position in my country. Currently, I work in the Biocruces-Bizkaia Health Research Institute in Spain as a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher and I am working to consolidate my emerging Research Line on the Epigenomics of Childhood while I keep collaborating in projects related to the Epigenetics of Cancer.”

Dr Nora Fernandez-Jimenez, Spain, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2013

“My PhD work was on molecular epidemiology, during this time I learned about the outstanding work of IARC. When I finished my PhD, I was lucky to get a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Genetic Epidemiology Group where I worked with Dr. Paul Brennan in a genetic susceptibility study of oropharyngeal cancer. My time at IARC was extremely helpful. I had the opportunity to lead a large-scale cancer genetic susceptibility study, collaborate with numerous scientists from more than 10 countries and develop bioinformatics skills to analyze large-scale datasets, which resulted in high-quality publications. After my IARC fellowship, I took a postdoctoral position at the Mount Sinai in New York, to continue my academic career as a molecular epidemiologist. I will consider returning to IARC as part of future research collaborations.”

Dr Corina Lesseur, Venezuela, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2013

“I’m an ageing and cancer epidemiologist. I had no particular expectation when I applied for the IARC postdoctoral Fellowship as it is very competitive. I did not expect to get it. You can easily guess how delighted I was when I received the email from the FEL office announcing me that I was granted with this prestigious fellowship. The 2 years worked in the Cancer Surveillance Section helped me build the research project that I want to conduct. I’m currently still working at IARC but in another section but I was recently granted with the very prestigious Marie Curie Action global individual fellowship to pursue the work that I started during my IARC fellowship. This would not have been possible without the experience gained during my fellowship at IARC. I am really grateful for this opportunity that I am sure will help me a lot in my future career.”

Dr Sophie Pilleron, France, Postdoctoral Fellow Call 2015