Doctoral Researcher from Ukraine Awarded Scholarship for Special Commitment

Goethe University Vice President Professor Christiane Thompson (right) presents Mariana Shumliakivska with the award. Photo: Uwe Dettmar

Mariana Shumliakivska, doctoral researcher and medical student at Goethe University Frankfurt, has been awarded the “Scholarship for Volunteer Work with an International Context at Goethe University.” Shumliakivska, who hails from Zhytomyr, a city around 140 kilometers from Kyiv, helps her fellow Ukrainians in many ways. The award was presented on 21 December by Professor Christiane Thompson, Goethe University Vice President for Teaching, Study and Further Academic Education; Monika Duderstadt, Head of the Dean of Studies Office at the Faculty of Medicine (representing Professor Stefanie Dimmeler); Marco Blaszyk, Head of the Orientation and Counseling Department, Global Affairs Study and Teaching; and Hanna Reuther, Deputy Head of the Orientation and Counseling Department and Group Leader of Academic Success and Integration, Global Affairs Study and Teaching.

Prof. Christiane Thompson commended Mariana Shumliakivska’s extraordinary commitment to science, medicine and society, which is directed at current scientific and social challenges. The scholarship, introduced in 2019 and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), is aimed at international students of all disciplines with good academic achievements who distinguish themselves through special commitment to the concerns of international students or to topics of particular intercultural and social relevance in an international context at Goethe University Frankfurt or its immediate vicinity.

As a DAAD scholarship holder and 2022 graduate of the Master’s program in Molecular Medicine with a final grade of “Very Good”, Mariana Shumliakivska is currently working as a doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Medicine’s Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration under Prof. Stefanie Dimmeler and at the same time studying for a degree in medicine leading to the State Examination. Her significant social and intercultural commitment manifests itself in her support for her fellow Ukrainians in her homeland since the outbreak of the war in the spring of 2022.

Mariana Shumliakivska is an active member of the Ukrainische Ärztevereinigung Deutschland e. V. (Ukrainian Medical Association in Germany) and, together with three fellow students, launched the “Mediziner für die Ukrainer” (Doctors for Ukrainians) initiative, whose goal it is to provide medical and humanitarian aid to Ukrainian towns and clinics affected by the war. She has also worked in a hospital in the war zone herself. The initiative was covered in an article published by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

In the Rhine-Main region, the “Frankfurt for Ukraine” initiative continues to collect medications and medical equipment for Ukraine, including dressings, bandages, etc. An urgent need currently exists for medical equipment – including second-hand items. On Goethe University’s Niederrad Campus, the university clinics and the caretaker are supporting the initiative, and citizens and neighbors are also getting involved. The supplies are sent to Lviv via the Ukrainian community and the Ukrainian Medical Association, and transported onwards from there.

Mariana Shumliakivska also encourages other international students wanting to study in Germany by offering advice and telling them about her own background: as such, she has reported on her own arrival in Germany as an international student and her academic path on the “deutschland.de” platform.

She already demonstrated her excellent academic skills while studying for her Master’s degree, among other things through core research work on a specific aspect of the coronavirus, where she shed light on how SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) affects the myocardium and endothelial cells. She can already boast two co-first authorships in prestigious journals such as “Cardiovascular Research” and “Basic Research in Cardiology”. As part of her doctoral thesis, she is now researching the extent to which somatic mutations in hematopoietic stem cells that lead to clonal expansion (referred to as “Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential”, CHIP) influence fibrosis in the heart. The project is based on the clinical observations made by the research group led by Professor Zeiher and Professor Dimmeler, which show that these mutations contribute to a poorer prognosis for patients with cardiac insufficiency.

Further information on the initiative “Frankfurt for Ukraine” (in German): https://frankfurt-for-ukraine.de

Goethe University’s Goethe Ukraine Fund:
Call for donations in support of young refugees from Ukraine (in German): https://tinygu.de/GzmUC

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