• Anna Raysyan, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)

Brain City Berlin Ambassador Anna Raysyan is a PhD  student at Bundesinstitut für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM). Currently her research focuses on the determination of medicince in breast milk.

Anna Raysyan is one of Berlin's many "expats": professionals and young talents from all over the world who are drawn to the German capital to work, start a business or conduct research. Today, around 16 percent of all scientists in Berlin come from abroad. Anna was born in Armenia and came to the Brain City from Russia. "I graduated from the Department of Pharmacy at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University,“ she says, „and as part of my education I did an international internship at Ghent University in Belgium. The internship inspired me to do a PhD and I decided to come to Berlin.“

In her research, the PhD student deals with toxic matter: She is interested in immunoanalytical techniques for the control of toxic compounds in the environment. "One important method, for example, is a strip test, so-called lateral-flow immunoassay, similar to many pregnancy tests. Anna Raysyan remembers that the first containment she analysed was for bisphenol A (BPA): a hormonally active compound that is released from certain plastic materials. "Today I use the same technique for the research on my test strip that will enable everyone to determine drugs in breast milk," she says, adding: "I believe in a healthy future where a simple test will help us take control of the safety of breast milk as well as the environment. And to move this moment of discovery from the doctor's office to our home."

Being a researcher in Berlin is amazing. Numerous great names in the history of science are closely associated with the city. I believe that Berlin is a city of opportunity.

Anna Raysyan quickly found her way around her new home in Berlin. Only in the beginning it was a bit stressful for her: "I had to adapt to the new environment. I didn't speak German well, but that wasn't a problem in Berlin. Many people speak English here. And everybody is very friendly. If they don't speak English, they try to help you using body language."

Anna is not only active as a researcher in Berlin. In 2019, she was a volunteer at Berlin Science Week. A completely new experience for her: "Over time, I realized the need to put some of my time and creative energy to areas and tasks outside of my professional life. I was motivated by social reason, I wished to network with people who share common goals and also make new friends. Looking back, I’m glad I volunteered and was part of the Berlin Science Week.”

Life in the Brain City Berlin continues to inspire Anna Raysyan: "Being a researcher in Berlin is amazing. I am surrounded by talented and motivated people. Numerous great names in the history of science are closely associated with the city. All of this inspired me to choose Berlin as the place for my PhD. I believe that Berlin is a city of opportunity."