Från Sibirien till Sverige - med nyfikenhet som drivkraft
Sköldpaddor, ödlor, katter och en papegoja. Ja, till och med en övergiven kråkunge finns med på listan över husdjur genom åren. För ryssen Andrei Chagin, nyrekryterad docent i cellulär fysiologi, blev intresset för djur och natur under barndomen i Sibirien en språngbräda till forskningen.
Andrei Chagin, welcome to the Institute of Medicine and Sahlgrenska Academy!
Could you tell us briefly about your background?
– I am originally from Siberia where I obtained my university education in cell biology and genetics at Novosibirsk State University. Thereafter, I did my PhD in pediatric endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet . After completing my PhD, I did postdoctoral training in bone endocrinology at Harvard Medical School in Boston and in 2012, I started my own research laboratory at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of Karolinska Institutet.
What sparked your research interest initially?
– Ever since childhood I have loved animals - all different kinds. I have had dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, hamsters, mice, lizards, a parrot. Even a crow was a pet of mine one summer! I found it as a chick in the forest and raised it at our summer house (now I think my mother is a hero!).
– Being curious by nature, when time came there was no doubt in me that I wanted to study biology. With time, this interest slightly transformed into a bio-medical direction. I am very curious to see how cells behave, communicate, interact, build and maintain the entire organisms.
Joining the research team here, what are your expectations and is there something in particular that you look forward to?
– Sahlgrenska Academy is historically very strong in bone and endocrine research. The biggest discoveries about regulation of bone growth by hormones came from Sahlgrenska. Tooth prothesis, and cartilage implantations are worth mentioning. Currently, it harbors one of the strongest bone research in Europe. This coincides with my main research interests and I hope to join forces and interests in understanding skeletal biology and its hormonal regulation.
– As far as coming to Göteborg, I enjoy the sea and the west coast is my favorite place. I am looking forward to being closer to it.
What do you think will be your main contribution here?
– It is hard to estimate yourself but I hope to contribute with my passion for science and my expertise in the field. I also want to contribute to the critical mass of scientists working in the same direction. Methodologically, we use relatively advanced technologies, such as clonal genetic tracing, single cell sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, 3D RNA FISH and intravital imaging. I hope to bring all these approaches with me.
What is your main focus right now as far as research projects go?
– We have recently discovered a novel stem cell niche in the bone (Nature 2019, 567:234-238) and currently exploring composition and regulation of this niche.
Familj: Två döttrar, 10 och 14 år gamla
Fritidsintressen: vetenskap, vandring, segling, skidåkning, hundar
Om jag inte var forskare: Då skulle jag vilja arbeta med skogsbruk.