Kashish Manchanda - a PhD student of the CCRC Program - is the doctoral representative of ORPHEUS


- an Organization for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System associated with numerous European biomedical and health science faculties and institutions.

The main focus of ORPHEUS is the development and the enhancement of PhD education in biomedical and health sciences.

My name is Kashish Manchanda. I am a PhD student of the Graduate Program of Cologne Cardiovascular Research Center - the so-called CCRC Graduate Program and PhD representative of ORPHEUS - an Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System.

I am working in the research group of Prof. Dr. Stephan Baldus and Dr. Anna Klinke. The research focus of our group is to study the role and function of MPO in cardiovascular diseases. In my PhD research project, I am particularly interested in characterizing MPO’s impact on the endothelial glycocalyx and the consequences of this interaction on vascular integrity.

In addition to my research, I am also very interested in extra-curricular activities that have been extremely beneficial for my personal development, in particular my involvement with ORPHEUS.

I was selected as doctoral representative of ORPHEUS. As the name says, the main focus of ORPHEUS is the development and the enhancement of PhD education in biomedical and health sciences, which is extremely important for us PhD students. The organization is also associated with numerous other European biomedical and health science faculties and institutions, which is highly helpful in terms of networking. I gained tremendous insights into the PhD education in Europe while the interacting with scientists from all over Europe, who play a key role in PhD education at their Universities.

What makes ORPHEUS even more interesting is its annual conference and workshops that are organized throughout the world. This year´s annual "ORPHEUS Conference Lost in translation? From medical studies to clinical research" took place in Cologne from March, 10 - 12, 2016.

People with different backgrounds, ideas and visions get together and exchange their views for the betterment of PhD education. The organization is kept dynamic and active through its biannual EC meetings where extensive discussions on up-coming ORPHEUS’ activities, workshops takes place and strategic plans and important decisions are made. And in all these events, students play a central role and the PhD representative has equal say in all matters.

Being the OPRHEUS PhD representative, I have learned several things, be it the OPRHEUS’ Best Practices or the importance of student representation or information on burning topics such as bioethics or interdisciplinary research. Also, I have gained tremendous exposure as to how a world-wide organization runs and how different ideas can be combined together to generate something unique and special.

Lastly, not to forgot, being PhD students, research comes first and extra-curricular activities second. I am in the third year of my PhD and I must say combining work and extra-curricular has sometimes been tough but the support from my supervisor and from my CCRC Graduate Program was very helpful.