My research journey started with the study Medical Biology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Upon receiving my Masters degree at the end of 1999, I joined the group of Dr. Ir. Boudewijn Burgering at the division of Biomedical Genetics from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) in Utrecht. During my PhD work I focused on the role of FoxO transcription factors in quiescence and stress responses in cells. For my postdoctoral training, I then moved to Switzerland to join the Genetics and Stem Cell Lab of Dr. Andreas Trumpp at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne. Supported by an EMBO longterm fellowship I discovered an unexpected but very interesting effect of the cytokine IFNα on quiescent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Since 2009 I’m running my own independent junior group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technologies and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) in Heidelberg, Germany. My group focuses on understanding the link of inflammation and the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment via the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines on quiescent HSCs and their bone marrow niche. Investigating the effect of stress-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines on HSCs and their niche will allow us to better understand what the mechanisms are by which HSCs are reassuring the successful restoration of the blood system and how HSCs are protected from pathogenic insults. In acknowledgement of the research achievements of my group I received the 2017 Chica and Heinz Schaller Research Award.