Sergio Pérez Acebrón
Profession: Scientist and group leader at the German Cancer Research Centre
Exchange to: Heidelberg, Germany
From: Bilbao, Spain
“I feel like I belong here.”
“My home? I feel more European than Spanish. I want more Europe, not less.” That is Sergio Pérez Acebrón’s motivation to achieve something positive with his research and equip younger generations with the critical tools to enable them to tackle problems that need to be solved.
Despite being promised an extensive scholarship in the UK to coordinate a group at UCL in London, Sergio decided – due to Brexit – to stay at the University of Heidelberg as a lecturer and group leader, and thus remain in Europe. “Heidelberg offers a first-rate, multidisciplinary and vibrant research environment, which I consider essential to encourage high-quality research.”
He also loves the fact that he can go everywhere by bike. He is impressed by how focused people in Heidelberg are on their work and studies. “I like how people here balance their personal and professional lives, and the quality of life in general.” The fact that it was so easy for him to move between these two European countries, Spain and Germany, was crucial to his final decision to remain in Germany.
As co-founder and former president of the Society of Spanish Researchers in Germany (CERFA), he continues to organise conferences and workshops on German-Spanish collaboration in research and development. In addition, every two years he coordinates a meeting between junior researchers and experienced European speakers who are very familiar with the research and development landscape. This allows the young researchers to obtain advice from the experts for the benefit of their own careers.
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