You’ve just got to meet Diah. She is one bright star whose sparkle shines when she speaks, and you’ll end up smiling every time you talk to her. She joined the Course and Conference Office in 2012, then moved to her home country of Indonesia in 2018 before re-joining EMBL in 2020 (yes, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic!). We are very happy she is back and can’t wait for you to meet her.
At EMBL since: 2012 — 2018 and re-joined in 2020.
Number of organised conferences/courses: 29 conferences and 22 courses.
Favourite place in Heidelberg:
Königstuhl. The view of Heidelberg especially during sunset is so beautiful. And EMBL. It is not because I work there but the place itself and the forest and farm around it are so pretty in all seasons.
What are the challenges/differences of organising a virtual conference or course?
The learning curve in mastering different platforms and software as well as a different workflow was pretty steep. It is a challenging but also very exciting process — both rewarding and humbling at the same time.
How have you adapted your role during the pandemic?
I try to stay connected with people as much as possible. I like to keep an open mind, be mindful and creative — even more than before!
What do you miss most about life before the pandemic?
Like everyone else, I miss meeting and talking to people in person. I am a very extroverted person so it was very difficult for me when we had to start working from home. I am used to it now. I also miss playing badminton with the team!
What have you been up to during these difficult times?
I walk a lot. Also trying new recipes — I love cooking!
If you weren’t a Course and Conference Officer, what would you be?
I was a high school teacher for quite some time. If I were not in Europe, working for a high-level international research institute, interacting with people from all over the world, I would probably be back teaching. It is a very different world but the teaching gene runs in the family. In an alternative world, I would own a small shop selling vegetables, flowers or candy😊.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened in a conference?
Oh one time at a conference, the keynote speaker had just started her talk when the fire alarm went off. We had to herd 300 participants out of the building to the meeting point near the woods!
If you were a superhero, what power would you like to have?
I’d like to have the power to fly, to lift off the ground by myself freely and ride the air currents — it must be so cool.
Which series have you been binge-watching that we should also definitely watch?
I just finished The Queen’s Gambit and Dark. Really good!
Which are your favourite books?
My all-time favourite books are The Glass Palace, Shantaram and of course Harry Potter!
Upcoming events Diah is organising or co-organising:
EMBO Practical Course: Measuring Translational Dynamics by Ribosome Profiling, 17 – 25 May 2021, virtual.
EMBO Workshop: Predicting Evolution, 14 – 16 Jun 2021, virtual.
EMBO Workshop: The Mobile Genome: Genetic and Physiological Impacts of Transposable Elements, 29 Aug – 1 Sep 2021, virtual