Investigator Profile: Marjan Slak Rupnik
►Where are you from originally, and where did you go to school?
I am originally from Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I finished my BSc and MSc in Physiology and in 1997 received PhD in Cell Physiology at the Medical faculty, University of Ljubljana.
►What is your current position?
I am a Professor and Principal Investigator at the Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna.
►Why did you decide to become a researcher?
The mechanics of nature and society always fascinated me, particularly the part that is still not well understood.
►What is the “Big Picture” of what you study?
Islet cells work as collectives to sense nutrient levels and compute required hormone release. I think it is amazing that in order to describe interactions between the cells we can use the same tools as have been used to describe interactions of electrons in atoms or in paramagnetic substances, as well as interactions within social or computer networks.
►What is your favorite aspect of your research?
I simply admire the technology living beings are made of. And how soon we run out of metaphors to describe this technology or even how fast we run out of useful names to describe the constitutive parts we have identified.
► What do you hope to achieve with your research?
First, to elucidate major misunderstandings regarding the pathophysiology, treatment and prevention of a disease we call diabetes. And second, always strive to tell a better story.
► What groups are you involved with?
I am professionally involved with HIRN.
►When not in the lab what are your favorite hobbies/activities?
I am a father of five children, the youngest three are 7, 5 and 2 years old. In addition to our family rituals, I have some time to listen to audio books and think about everything.