Alumnus Profile

Dr. Simon Faissner

October 1, 2017

Principle Invesitgator, Ruhr-University Bochum

1. You were involved with the Alberta MS Network (endMS) during your time as a Fellow at the University of Calgary. For you, what was the most beneficial aspect of the Network?

During my postdoctoral fellowship at the UofC I had the opportunity to meet with different people from labs all around Canada and to discuss high-quality research. This led to the formation of a great network which is still highly important to me. With research getting more and more technical and difficult it will be more important to collaborate with researchers around the globe, specialized in distinct fields of research. The Alberta MS Network provides an opportunity to interact and form this network, which was one of the most valuable things to me. Especially the endMS conference was an important meeting which gave me the opportunity to meet international leaders of MS research and get new input for future projects.

MS research in both North America and Europe is very strong, hence I think it is highly important to collaborate “across the big pond”. 


2. Can you tell us a little more about your current position and the work you are doing?

 After my return to Germany I continued with my neurology training at the Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum with Prof. Dr. Ralf Gold. In addition, Prof. Gold offered me a PI position in his lab, for which I am very grateful. The main focus of my work is to better understand mechanisms important for progressive MS with the main focus to find new treatment approaches. The work with my mentor in Calgary, Wee Yong, helped me a lot to get great input and develop new ideas. 


3. Do you have any advice for our trainees?

One of the most important aspects during training is to discuss research and ideas with people with different backgrounds and ideas. This will help to shape your own research and sharpen your mind for new ideas. You should try to get input from different sides. To be successful you need to be focused, well organized and hard-working, otherwise you might end with lots of good ideas and “pilot data” but without finished projects. 


4. Any other information that you would like to share.

Never lose your curiosity for new ideas!



182A Heritage Medical Research Building
3330 Hospital Drive NW
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta  T2N 4N1

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