Meet the FEMS One Health team: Teja Sirec and Tomasz Benedyk
We are proud to work collectively with a growing community of microbiologists whose voluntary contributions are helping to put microbiology firmly on the map. This month we are joined by our One Health campaign team, which is led by Teja Širec and Tomasz Benedyk. They are both active applied microbiology researchers. Teja is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Warwick developing spore-based drug delivery and Tomasz is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge working on molecular mechanisms involved in host-virus interactions.
What inspired you to get involved with the FEMS One Health campaign?
Teja: “I got involved in the One Health campaign as a volunteer. I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in scientific activities beyond the lab bench and I was happy to hear about this campaign. What inspired me was the opportunity to spread the word about One Health, and getting actively involved in the FEMS community.”
Tomasz: “Being a researcher may sometimes give you a feeling of being ‘detached’ from real problems and struggles that the world faces every day. I knew that working for One Health would not only give me an opportunity of catching up with the current trends and issues in healthcare, but more importantly, would also introduce me to a broad scientific audience so I could help bridging that gap between research benches and healthcare offices.”
Could you describe what you do for the One Health campaign? And what have been the highlights?
Teja: “I have been writing posts together with Tomasz on One Health, which are being published on the FEMS website.”
Tomasz: “Teja and I are involved in writing posts for the One Health campaign, with a new post being published roughly every month. Our other tasks comprise following different One Health associated organizations and looking up the events which could be of interest for the FEMS community and advertising them. The FEMS officers, Vi and Fred in particular, have been great supporters and impressive organizers, thus our work has always seemed to be easy and enjoyable. The large interest in the campaign during the FEMS Congress 2017 was definitely the most rewarding moment, which also empowered our determination to continue the One Health campaign for the FEMS community.”
What are your future aspirations?
Teja: “I hope at getting better and better at writing and reaching out to scientists, and preparing engaging (and hopefully interactive) posts for the FEMS community.”
Tomasz: “As a PhD student, I am still at the beginning of my career, but I hope that with my future choices I will stay on this path ranging from world’s leading research to global politics and international healthcare providers.”
What are your passions outside of scientific research?
Teja: “Travelling, cooking and pilates are some of my favourite topics outside scientific research.”
Tomasz: “Traveling and sport give me loads of entertainment and satisfaction. As a scientist, I am very happy every time when I can combine visiting a new place with professional trips or international events, and I always try to spend at least a couple of extra days on being just a tourist. Sport at all times is the best choice to release some steam after an intensive day, as well as it is a fantastic chance to see my friends.”
To learn more about One Health, take a look at our special One Health thematic issue. Learn more about our projects and see how you can get involved.