Meet the EMBL Events Team: Erkin – Course and Conference Office


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Meet the EMBL Events Team: Erkin

Meet Erkin, a wizard behind the scenes of our Finance and Sponsorship team 🪄🧙‍♂️

Coming all the way from the vibrant Uzbekistan, Erkin joined us back in October 2022, bringing with him a talent and a knack for collecting and raising funds for our Courses and Conferences Programme. But, if there’s one thing more puzzling than a maze with no exit, it’s trying to decode Erkin’s inner workings. He’s not what you would call a chatterbox.

So, we decided to play detective and uncover what’s going on inside his head. What secrets lie beneath that calm exterior? What tales does his silence conceal?

Read on to find out more!

Erkin Ibragimov, Sponsorship Coordinator

Role: Sponsorhip Coordinator

At EMBL since:  October 2022

What is your job in the Courses and Conferences Team?

My role in the team is to help find additional sources of funding to support our course and conference programme. I mostly work and communicate with external partners, like industry or grant institutions. Therefore, I am involved in almost all the conferences and some of the courses, where I organise industry workshops and exhibitions.

What’s your favourite place in Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is a city where urban life and nature blend beautifully, and I love every part of it. Even after living here for almost 10 years, I’m still discovering new things that the city has to offer. Since starting my job at EMBL, I spend a lot of time on its campus, which is truly a wonderful place. The campus is scenic and peaceful, a perfect example of how natural beauty can enhance a learning and working environment. It’s a place you can visit repeatedly and still feel inspired by its surroundings.

What do you like most about your job?

What I value most in my position is the significant impact of my work. I help secure additional financial resources for our courses and conference programme through industry sponsorships and grants, thus contributing to EMBL’s vital mission of external training. This role also enables the building of relationships between academia and the private sector, which I believe mutually benefit both sides on so many levels. This is very rewarding. Moreover, an outstanding and supportive team, as well as the vibrant community at EMBL make an overall work experience exceptional.

If you weren’t a Sponsorship Officer looking for money to support our events, what would you be?

Probably a teacher.

What is your favourite book and why?

It isn’t easy to emphasize one particular book when it comes to reading. Every book is great in its own way. I enjoy reading different genres of books, especially about great personalities. One of my favourite books is ‘The Singapore story: From third world to first’ by Lee Kuan Yu. It is the author’s compelling autobiography that chronicles the country’s transformation from a post-colonial small island into a first-world nation under his leadership. The book is inspiring because it shows how strong leadership and smart planning can turn into a global success. It teaches us about the power of determination and vision in overcoming big challenges. Currently, I am finishing a book named ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’ by David Michie, which conveys the Buddhist wisdom through the everyday events happening through the eyes of Dalai Lama’s cat.

What is your favourite recipe?

Omelette. I love it because it’s ingeniously simple and incredibly versatile. You can mix in almost anything you like, such as cheese, vegetables, spices — basically most of the products you have in the fridge. It never gets boring and it’s a must-have for my breakfast.

What is your favourite movie?

‘Interstellar’ is my favourite movie because it offers intense emotions and big topics, from humanity’s desperate fight for survival to a story of individuals who sacrifice their all to make the change. One can witness the characters experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions, from hope and despair to love and hatred, along with loyalty and betrayal. Hans Zimmer’s music is fantastic and it greatly helped the overall delivery of the topic.

 I also enjoy Italian and French comedies. The humour is fantastic.

What is your favourite music genre / band?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite singer or band; my connection is more to individual songs or pieces of music, particularly those that fall into the instrumental, especially piano genres. It is the way the music can express the emotions or convey a story without words that intrigue me. Currently, I enjoy listening to composers and artists like Ludovico Einaudi, Hans Zimmer, Yann Tiersen, or Hania Rani.

What is your favourite podcast?

I do not listen to podcasts. I enjoy silence.

Now you got a glimpse of Erkin’s world and his thoughts and preferences. If you want to find out more about this job, pick his brain for an omelette recipe, or want to sponsor an event, don’t hesitate to contact him at sponsorship@embl.org.