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Rainer Heintzmann (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

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About this episode

#13 — You may know Rainer Heintzmann (Friedrich Schiller University Jena) as one of the pioneers of structured illumination microscopy (SIM) but here we delve more into the man behind the science, where we discover a breath of interests including gliding, skiing, dancing and 3D printing.

Rainer’s undergraduate studies may have taken him a lengthy 6 years to complete, yet he transitioned from PhD student to group leader at King’s College London in just 5 years.

While Rainer confesses he watches too much TV, he does admit to preferring books. His bookshelf gives away a passion for fantasy with notable titles including ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ and ‘Wise Man’s fear’. Take a look and see what books can you spot!

As the topic turns to more serious discussions, we discover that an important role for a group leader is to be a mentor and look out for lab members who may be dealing with difficult issues.

Follow Peter O’Toole & Rainer Heintzmann on Twitter!

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Please note that this is a Machine Transcription and may not be 100% accurate.

Intro/Outro (00:00:02):
Welcome to The Microscopists, a Bitesize Bio podcast hosted by Peter O’Toole, sponsored by Zeiss Microscopy. Today on The Microscopists.

Peter O’Toole (00:00:19):
Hi today on The Microscopists, I’m joined by Rainer Heintzmann from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, and we discussed exactly how Rainer became such a nifty dance floor mover.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:00:34):
Well, when I was in London, I actually went once a week to Imperial college for dancing lessons.

Peter O’Toole (00:00:40):
And you’ll have to watch listen to find out precisely what type of dancing Rainer was actually learning. And I asked him why it took him six years to complete his undergraduate studies.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:00:53):
Well, yeah, if you call that undergrad, that’s the problem in Germany. At that time, we have the system of a diploma.

Peter O’Toole (00:01:01):
I asked him about the development of SIM for which he gave both from a theoretical perspective and a practical perspective, which are very different answers.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:01:13):
Well, the ideas, uh, are around for many more years. So there’s like papers from the 1960s.

Peter O’Toole (00:01:22):
Why did he need a kick to move his career forward? And how many of us could learn from the advice that his friend gave him?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:01:32):
Uh, he took me aside and said, Hey, Rainer, you know, it’s really important that you publish a paper within the next six months. Otherwise you’re gone from here. Basically.

Peter O’Toole (00:01:45):
I also asked you what else he does outside of work to relax.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:01:50):
I have a TV that has this polarization based 3d. Um, so you can, you can watch 3d films on it.

Peter O’Toole (00:01:59):
And interestingly, listening to how Rainer has had to deal with drink problems within his lab environment,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:02:08):
Alcohol at work is, is a potential problem if that happens.

Peter O’Toole (00:02:12):
All, in this episode of The Microscopists. Right, today on the Microscopists I’m joined by Rainer Heintzmann Rainer. Hi. Hi, Pete. It’s been a long time actually, since I’ve seen you, partly because of lockdown, which obviously we’ve been through going through whichever way, wherever we are at this moment in time, but actually you moved over obviously to Jena and I only ever get to see you in conferences now.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:02:40):
Yeah. That’s, that’s a pity and now there are no conferences with Corona.

Peter O’Toole (00:02:44):
Yeah, no. So, you know, at the University of Jena, I believe that’s correct or longest name is

Rainer Heintzmann (00:02:52):
It’s Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena. So, so, Jena is kind of the proud city where, uh, the German author Friedrich-Schiller was staying for quite a while. And so that’s why they named the University after him.

Peter O’Toole (00:03:08):
Well, I think we’ll come back to more about him later on throughout it. So obviously I met you first, when you were working at KCL at Kings College London. Uh, actually, yeah, it was through the conferences, I think, before associating re KCL itself. And certainly ELMI, I think it was probably once some of the first meetings, we were probably bumping into each other. I say, bumping into each other because obviously you’re quite renowned for your dancing.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:03:38):
Well, that’s not a good sign if we bumped into each other a lot during dancing ELMI is well known for dance, dancing parties.

Peter O’Toole (00:03:52):
Yeah. I’d say bumps. I think you just probably bumped everyone off the dance floor as you took center stage quite often. So where did your dancing come from? Because you’re quite a nifty move. Yeah,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:04:03):
Come on. No, I like dancing. I, um, w when I was in London, I actually went once a week to Imperial college for dancing lessons, all sorts of dance that was Latin, Latin dance. So like Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive.

Peter O’Toole (00:04:22):
So, okay. So now I’m getting an idea. When we have a request at an ELMI, what sorts of music to request to put on to get you on the dance floor? How’d you find a partner that can dance that. So it’s not many that can do that type of dancing now, is it?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:04:36):
Yeah, but you know, you watch people then you can, you can see who is capable of dancing these dances, and then you can ask them, Hey,

Peter O’Toole (00:04:47):
But after a few drinks, there’ll be incapable of dancing by the end of ELMI nights.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:04:51):
Oh, me too.

Peter O’Toole (00:04:54):
I, I do like this concept is strictly come dancing for microscopists or scientists.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:05:01):
Are you going to run a show?

Speaker 1 (00:05:03):
Just thinking that could be a whole new virtual event. Couldn’t probably we’ll get people to vote. So we’ll off at the end of each week. Okay. So that’s a good one for ELMI this year. We’ll have a virtual dance off and I get people to vote off or keep voting people on until the end. And we’ll see who wins there. That that’s, that’s too complicated. So let’s take you right back to your, uh, actually to your I’m going to take you further back. I was going to say, take you back to your undergraduate days, but actually you sent me through some pictures, so thank you very much for those. So this one, right, let me show

Peter O’Toole (00:05:47):
Long before your undergraduate days. So tell me a bit about this picture. Obviously you’re very young you, but tell me more about it.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:05:56):
Well, that was like a science fair that I, that I was on when I was like in high school, basically. And, um, that, that basically just shows that even at that time, I was, I was already very interested in physics and this is not optics is actually acoustics. I was doing some little project on generating sounds there. And I don’t know if you remember the Commodore 64 computer.

Peter O’Toole (00:06:24):
Yeah. Unfortunately I am old enough to remember of the Commodore 64. Yes.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:06:29):
Right. So some was soldering some little, little bit for the user port. And then via this user port, I could output sounds the way I wanted them. And then you could draw the wave form on the screen. There was something that’s called a light pen. Have you ever heard of this?

Peter O’Toole (00:06:48):
No, it’s,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:06:49):
It’s a device that you could draw on your screen on and it would work with the Commodore 64. Ah, the trick is that at that time, the screens were of course CRTs, Cathode-ray tubes. And they, they would basically disliked pen with just have an, a diode. And it would, it would send like a trigger to the computer at the moment that the electron Ray was passing. And because the computer was synchronized with the screen, it knew where the pen w where the Ray is. And so it could tell the position this way.

Peter O’Toole (00:07:22):
And how old were you at this point again?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:07:25):
Where that, that was 15 or something, but I didn’t do this. Light pen was something you could just buy and plug in and it would work.

Peter O’Toole (00:07:32):
Yeah. But you were still into that at the age of 15.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:07:35):
Yeah. Come on. But that was lots of fun. The funny thing is I really wonder why this computer was so good at that time, because it, it doesn’t feel like a huge difference between what that little thing could do. And it had 64 kilobytes of memory. So what you can do nowadays, right. Of course there’s differences, but they don’t feel that big.

Peter O’Toole (00:07:58):
So you always say sent, this picture, I presume this is you right at the edge of the picture, is that correct?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:08:06):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That, that one I sent, because that was, it was a bit funny. This was probably the only time I will ever get into the economy section of a newspaper. And this was a little, the local savings bank. They were running this, this yearly game with school kids to learn how to, how to, um, place, um, orders on the stock market. So they were giving you something like, I dunno what, like 50 K play money, which was of course not real. And then you could just buy and sell any day what you want. And they would pretend that you do this with real money. And the people that won the most at the end of this game, they would win the game. And the funny thing was, we actually did win the game. Um, but we won it because we made the least loss.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:09:00):
Yeah. So it, it was the time of the black Friday or what it was called. Right. And so the whole stock market crashed in that time. And we were just like, not doing much. And that’s why we, we didn’t lose much. Um, uh, the, the funny thing there was that this got me into contact to the people at this savings bank. And I realized that they were there, they were hiring this like 15 people to just do all the calculations for this. And I said, why do you do that? There’s computers? And they said, what is the computer? And so I ended up writing a program for them so that they could save all the work and just in the morning type in the, the new stock market values. And then the computer would spit out everything automatically, basically.

Peter O’Toole (00:09:48):
So you had a, you had an impact in the financial markets.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:09:55):
It was just in this economy section, it was a game on this.

Peter O’Toole (00:09:59):
You chose it and you, you, you made the least losses. Uh, so you know, you could have had a successful career outside of science and probably far more, uh, far more. I can’t say the word successful is very much the wrong word to use for obvious reasons, but certainly a far more wealthy career outside of science, but you chose physics for your undergraduate. So

Rainer Heintzmann (00:10:21):
Remember we made a loss,

Peter O’Toole (00:10:25):
A loss. So that was still a win, I guess. So why physics?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:10:31):
Uh, I don’t know. It’s, um, I was always interested in physics, like probably fifth grade onwards or something like this. Um, it’s sounds like fun. Right? So as nature, how it’s working more or less?

Peter O’Toole (00:10:49):
No, it’s always sounded like hard work to meet physics.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:10:53):
Yeah. No, to me not, I don’t know. It’s, it’s like optics. I always liked astronomy as a kid. I loved like going outside and watching the stars and things like this.

Peter O’Toole (00:11:05):
No, I, I, I can, I can certainly empathize on that bit. I always remember looking outside my bedroom window and the star sky, the sky. So actually I try and choose houses with the same view out the bedroom window, the night sky on memories of the constellations. I could see at that point, but I was very much novice. So your, you teach your undergraduate in physics and is it correct? That that was so that your major was physics, but you had a minor of computer science. Yeah.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:11:34):
It was like, um, you had the choice between computer science and chemistry, and most people did chemistry, but I always loved computer science. I was actually even thinking of maybe studying computer science rather than physics. But then before I started studying, I did also this work placement and I saw what happens to people that work for 30 years in computer science. And I thought, Hmm, maybe, maybe you need something else,

Peter O’Toole (00:12:05):
But, but look at computer science now it’s still field. And the computer science degrees, just as a whole are still relatively new. They’re, they’re not, they’re maturing still. I think today, my son will tell me off, cause that’s what he does. He’s into math with computer science, but it’s still, it’s still a very fast developing field. And I guess it’s a computer science it’s really enabled yourself to move forward as well. Do you think you could have been as successful without that background?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:12:35):
I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it, success is always luck in a way, you know, um, computer science helped a lot. Yeah, that’s true.

Peter O’Toole (00:12:46):
So if I, if I at is how long was your undergraduate diploma? Was it six years?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:12:53):
Well, yeah, if you call that undergrad, it that’s the problem in Germany. At that time we had the system of a diploma and, um, you had 13 years of school. So, um, I’m from, I’m from the Western part of Germany, Luneburg. And, um, afterwards then you, you do two years until you’re like, uh, that is called the pre diploma for diploma. And this is, I would say from the level it’s, it’s comparable to a bachelor, but you didn’t have to do any sort of practical work. So you have to of course, to lab courses and stuff like this. And then there was like three or in my case, I think four years more to, uh, to finishing the diploma, including the diploma thesis. So that’s a rather long time, right? So you, uh, age 26 or something when you’re done with your first degree, but that was very, very normal. It would, would be like the, the average time at that time that it takes nowadays. I think it’s a bit quicker, but it’s still comparably slow.

Peter O’Toole (00:14:06):
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:14:08):
Well, I, I don’t know. I think for, for society as a whole, it’s probably a very bad thing, right. Because, because you essentially, the country pays you to study in Germany. You do, you don’t have to pay anything. Right. So it’s, it’s free. Um, and the university has to be paid by society. And so from that perspective, it’s bad for, for me, it was good. It was lots of fun. Um, because you could actually go and study anything and nobody would really ask questions. So, so I went to courses like computer linguistics or systems sciences, or all kinds of philosophy just for fun. Right. I didn’t need any of those, but why not?

Peter O’Toole (00:14:56):
So at the end of that six years, uh, you’ve had quite, you know, to sample quite a lot of modules, different flavors. Um, your PhD, uh, was now moving up to Heidelberg. Uh, and with Chris Cremer, I think so Christoph Cremer’s lab, why did you choose to go, I guess, was that your first time to use microscopes or the first time you microscopy at that point

Rainer Heintzmann (00:15:21):
Before I did do optics. So I was like, lemme, my diploma was on some holography topic. And so, so I worked a lot with lasers and stuff like this. Um, and, uh, I also did some work at the SRF. Um, so it was x-ray scattering essentially. And then I wondered, why are people not applying what they know an x-ray scattering to light microscopy or to optics? And of course, I didn’t really know too much about optics at that point, but, um, it turned out that yes, the, the computer side, uh, the, the x-ray, uh, community has a much better like, uh, touch to four years based than the optics people had at that time. And so that was interesting. Um, Heidelberg was more or less a coincidence. There was a newspaper ad that was advertising PhD positions in Heidelberg, in a graduate college on medical physics.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:16:22):
And I thought, Oh, that sounds interesting. Medical physics. Why not? Um, maybe you learn some medicine and stuff like this on the way. And then I was actually wanting to talk to a medical physicist before I went there. And so I went to the hospital and talked to one and afterwards I knew a hundred percent. I do not want to do what this person is doing, but I applied anyway because I thought it’s a broader field and it was, and it was a very good decision. And it was really great in Heidelberg because you have these, these block weeks, it’s almost like, uh, from the spirit a little bit like, like courses you’ve been teaching and so on. It’s like these, these intense weeks where you have like lectures and exercises, um, on all aspects of medical physics, like magnetic, magnetic, resonance, imaging, and CT, and, and of course also some basic courses on medicine and so on. And so that was a lot of fun. And especially because you didn’t have to do any, any exams on these things, so you would just be learning that for fun.

Peter O’Toole (00:17:31):
And so during that time, uh, in Kramer lab, I think you published your first SIM paper, I think, but your PhD wasn’t on structured elimination, is that correct?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:17:46):
Yeah, that’s, that’s correct. Actually sort of funny because I was hired for different tasks there, my PhD or my, my, my job, so to say, was to look at micro fractionation of nuclei on the gamma radiation. Yeah. So it was really more like a biology experiment. I had, I, I had to grow some cells and then irradiate them with, with, with gamma. And, and then I was supposed to look at what happens to the nuclear, how, how do they fractionate and so on? And I was not particularly interested in this very topic. Um, so I ended up doing a PhD on a completely different subject, which has more to do with computer science and imagery construction deconvolution and so on. Um, but yeah, anyway, uh, sometimes it goes like this and it was SIM it’s similar. I, I just had this idea, I published the paper, but it didn’t really fit into the other topics, the deconvolution bits and so on. And so I, in the end, I just left it out of the PhD because there was enough other things to, to write about.

Peter O’Toole (00:18:58):
Okay. So looking at today’s market structured illumination microscopy, uh, has been a big thing. It’s still a very big thing in the microscopy world. So is that one of your biggest impacts you think you’ve had on the market? And it’s not, I know he’s not just you. Uh, so obviously you got Matsko staffs. And so here’s a question who was first to come up with SIM,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:19:21):
Well, the, the ideas, uh, uh, around for many more years. So there’s like papers from the 1960s, uh, to two very good papers by a guy called Locos. And he described, um, pretty much everything there is about SIM except two very important ingredients were missing. One was fluorescence. It was what he was doing was about transmission imaging, not fluorescence. And secondly, um, he, he didn’t have cameras in the computer, so he had to do everything by decoding grids. So he did it almost like a spinning disc microscope, replacing the spinning disc with, with, with the, uh, moving grating. And so that was practically pretty useless in a way, but it was the whole concept was there. Right. He described all the fluore, um, transforms that, that, that, that you need to understand, um, to, to understand the imaging process and so on. So that’s, that’s interesting.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:20:29):
But, um, the first SIM paper I did, um, was like essentially structured elimination along the lateral direction. That’s already had this, this fantastic work on what is called I5M it’s a very long name. I don’t even know if I remember it’s like incoherent, illumination, image, interference, um, microscopy, um, and that, that is also structured lumination and does that direction and it, but it unmixes itself. And then eventually I realized that you can unmix by taking several images and doing some math on them. And then, then this lateral sort of thing took off at the beginning of my first paper and SPIE 1999 while the conference was 1998. When I, when I talked about this, um, that is that that’s, I call it this laterally modulator, excitation, microscopy LMEM. Right. And nobody, nobody uses this acronym at all anymore because Matt’s came up with a much better acronym called SIM structured illumination, microscopy in his 2000 paper.

Peter O’Toole (00:21:42):
You can say he invented SIM then cause it’s his acronym. Exactly. So I never really stopped around that side. And that’s kind of where you major. So the, you, gosh, you’ve been lucky cause you ain’t went into a Thomas Jenuwein lab as well, which is another really big lab at Max-Planck Nijmegen. Uh, so what we’ve, what would you say, let’s go a few PhD to postdoc. Is there anything from the post-doc you spent three years and then switched that quite quickly to KCL to become a group leader. So you said how you were in studies for a long time. So it was a long time to, you know, you didn’t start a career really until you’re 26 or even to a PhD. So arguably 99, 2000 when you finished your PhD.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:22:34):
Yeah. I think just the end of 99 or something. Yeah. Yeah.

Peter O’Toole (00:22:37):
And yet, so, so nice. I, and yet in five years later, 2004, you became a group leader at KCL. Now that is really fast. So I don’t think it hindered did it.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:22:49):
Well, I had a lot of catching up to do at the Max-Planck Institute, uh, because at the time I did my PhD, I had zero papers published. There was one paper submitted by that time and that was published later. But at Max-Plank, I really had to learn that it’s very important to publish papers. And, um, that, that was a hard thing to learn for me. I, um, you know, in a way I still have this, like, like when you, when you do science, you, you find out something and once you know it, then you’re happy and you’re satisfied with your knowledge and, and why, why bother and tell everybody else about it, but why go through this pain of writing a paper? So that’s sort of the feeling, and of course now I know that it’s super important to do this and to write papers, but, uh, yeah, I had to learn that. I think at the Max-Planck Institute, I remember one, one day Quentin, uh, my sort of supervisor at the Max-Planck, uh, or my, my colleague who worked with me directly, uh, he took me aside and said, Hey, Reiner, you know, it’s really important that you publish urgent, uh, paper within the next six months. Otherwise you’re gone from here basically. And I think that was very good that he, he told me how the world works.

Peter O’Toole (00:24:16):
Like, do you, how do you instill that now your PhDs and postdocs, or do they just know that I just assume that everyone knows the importance of publishing work and showing outputs, but do you still get students or postdocs that are slow to publish or slower than they should be to publish or publishing how’d you deal with that?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:24:37):
It’s, it’s really difficult. I don’t know. Um, I don’t put much pressure on them. I do say that I find it very important and it’s, it’s almost like they get almost a paper at their entrance where it says publish or perish, but, uh, we are not really enforcing that. Um, and as a result, I have a whole mixed, like some people have also zero papers published with the PhD and in Germany you can still easily write a monography as a PhD, but nowadays we can also write, uh, PhDs, which are cumulative so that you can, um, base them on your publications. And I also have cases that have five first author publications by their PhD time or something like this. Right. So it, it varies a lot,

Peter O’Toole (00:25:29):
You guys on to have the most successful careers out of those that came out with none. And those who came out with five, is there a correlation or not?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:25:38):
Um, I think there is a correlation. Yeah, but it’s, it’s still a widespread look, look, look at Max. For example, like he’s, he’s probably one of the best, if not the best scientist I’ve ever met. And, uh, he has published very few papers on me. Right. And, but the papers are all so good that he could make a name with it. Right. Because they all spotless.

Peter O’Toole (00:26:06):
Do we think that in today’s world, you can, I think there was, there’s a real emphasis on taking your time and getting really high, impacting quality publications. And I always feel that there’s a rush to get publications out because you can’t really go for your next grant application until you’ve shown outputs from your previous. So does that, do you think that lessons, the quality of publications increases volume, but decreases the quantity and quality in a publication or not? Or is it a case?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:26:37):
Um, yeah, I don’t know. Um, that’s hard to, I I’m, I mean, there’s a certain drive also for high impact publications, but are they high quality? It’s not always sure. They at least polished in a way that they are easy to understand. And, and, and they do have an impact if, if it is only a societal impact or something like this. Right. But, um, it’s hard to say. Um, and, but they also important for grant applications and stuff like this, because it, it makes it easier. Right. If you have, if you have tons of nature papers, then, then nobody’s really asking questions about whether this is useful research or not, because it’s already proven sort of, right. I don’t, I like in a way, you know, Andrew York. Yeah, of course. So, so he, he is, he’s working for a company, you know? Right. And he was starting this, this sort of initiative, trying to publish your own stuff, just open access, um, with peer review, um, by your peers in the open. And I think it’s a brilliant idea, but the question is, is it going to take off or not? And it would be good if it, if it was right, but difficult,

Peter O’Toole (00:28:00):
You need to have it published in an impact journal for your assessments and for the institutes assessments, certainly in the UK, that’s the way, well, you know, your time at KCL and that’s how it works. Uh, I w I’ll come back to KCL and mem, I’ll ask you a question, actually. What’s your favorite talking publications? What is your favorite publication for whatever reason?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:28:21):
My favorite publication that I co-authored l um, I don’t know. Well, um, maybe it’s either the one on non-linear SIM where I described the theory of this nonlinear Sims. So that was 2002, but I will also quite fancy this publication with Keith Lidke, um, where we described that you can separate, uh, blinking particles just by the time that they are blinking. Right. Yeah. That was also cool, but it, it was only with quantum dots. And so you, you couldn’t really do sort of fancy imaging. We call it this idea of pointillism, because the idea was to make your images, like tons of points on a screen, right? Like, like, uh, an artist.

Peter O’Toole (00:29:13):
Yeah. And then in the future, we’ll think about quantum dots. If there’s two, three, four together, you could see the intensity drop equivalent. I remember looking at that with the five life, when that came out, it was brilliant at making them blink. I’m not sure it’s a good thing or bad thing for the five life, but it certainly married back to watching the blinking in real time.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:29:30):
Yeah. And that’s even a method, what we used as a method called independent component analysis. So that’s some sort of pretty fancy statistical methods that can tell lots of these particles apart if they’re independent linking. So it’s based on the stochastic independence of their linking events.

Peter O’Toole (00:29:50):
So I’m going to digress out a bit, and this is outside of work because we’ve got a lot of heavy work stuff at the moment. Which one is you on this peak, wherever you see this picture of you skiing, it’s a beautiful picture by the way.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:30:05):
Um, that is a place in Switzerland called [Inaudible]. Um, and on, on what I’m seeing your screen is the one on the left. Isn’t yeah.

Peter O’Toole (00:30:18):
They’re not the one on my shoulder. The other one. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I asked him also a bit, so you obviously enjoy your skiing.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:30:29):
Yeah, that was very early on. Our parents took us as I have a brother. They took us skiing very early on, like age six or five. And so

Peter O’Toole (00:30:40):
The, and do you still ski?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:30:42):
Yeah, if I can, but at the moment, Nope,

Peter O’Toole (00:30:45):
I bet. But in normal time, so you still ski, which is good. And is that why you moved away from KCL? Because obviously there’s not much skiing in her, in the UK.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:30:56):
Well, in a way, it was probably easier to get to the skiing results from KCL then from here, because here we drive all the way. And so that’s a pretty long drive from KCL. Yeah. You just fly over and then there’s short train ride, and you’re there.

Peter O’Toole (00:31:10):
So I’ll get coming back to KCL. This is obviously a big change because obviously you’ve been through some great places, but now you land up in one of the biggest cities in Europe and you’re starting your own group. So that must have been pretty daunting. So what, what did it, were you worried about starting your own group? Were you worried about moving to the city of London itself and setting it all up and getting PhDs postdocs in your lab? Finding funding? My God, these things are really daunting things, right?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:31:45):
Yeah. Um, I wasn’t so much worried. Like I, I did have an alternative. So originally I was offered a job at Worcester, Massachusetts, and I was just about to take it when Stefan Hill, uh, took me aside and said, Hey, Rainer, wait for a couple of days, there might be something else coming up. And so, so he connected me to King’s college. And, and so then when I got this offer and in the end I was, um, I was quite happy to change my mind and not go to the States and remain in Europe. Um, and so, and London was fun and I enjoyed it a lot, but for me, it is too big of a city. So I, I prefer, I have this theory that people like the cities in which they grew up. And so I grew up in a hundred thousand inhabitants town, and now I live in a a hundred thousand inhabitants town and that suits me. Right.

Peter O’Toole (00:32:44):
Okay. So you moved back to Jena and that your position is a physical chemistry.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:32:50):
Yeah, that’s interesting. Right. Because I am really a physicist by heart, uh, but physicists are needed in physical chemistry. And so, um, it’s only a bit difficult if you’re teaching the chemistry students and you, you don’t know what these chemical equations mean, right?

Peter O’Toole (00:33:12):
Yeah. I’m a biochemist. So actually I had a good hardcore chemistry side to it as nothing wrong with a bit of chemistry. Uh, so on that note, I was going to ask you, what would you consider yourself? Because your biggest impacts have probably been on the field of biology. It’s come from the physics background using your computer science. And now you’re teaching chemistry, which is pretty diverse. So

Rainer Heintzmann (00:33:34):
Chemistry, yeah. Thermodynamics and stuff like this. Full-time.

Peter O’Toole (00:33:39):
So I presume you’d still count yourself as a physicist then. Yes. Not a biophysicist. No, definitely a physicist.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:33:48):
Yes. I went to a lecture of biophysics and it was all about membranes, right. It was about the thermodynamics of membranes and what are the different States and so on. So absolutely not my field.

Peter O’Toole (00:34:03):
Oh, there’s nothing. While we membrane biochemistry and biophysics, it’s one of the best fields out there. Otherwise you are, you’ve insulted me,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:34:12):
Well, I just said it’s not my field.

Peter O’Toole (00:34:17):
And yet, so much of your work impacts that field as well by, uh, certainly our membrane biology and these architecture and infrastructure with the imaging itself. So ask the question. Who, who have you been your biggest inspirations either at work or out of work?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:34:36):
Well, like, um, as, as a name, I would probably start with work. That would be Richard Feynman. So I, I read a couple of his books of course. And so they’re very inspirational from the way he lives, but also the way he does physics and actually he’s written this three books series on physics that are very recommended. So, um, they are really, really good and they are not they’re, they’re, they’re quite light on the maths side, but they’re very heavy on the physics side. And so, but, but very, very good explanation. So, so that was a great, I use them a lot in my studies. Um, maths was also an inspiration to discuss with him the way he thinks about things was, was really great. But out, outside work, probably my father. So

Peter O’Toole (00:35:38):
It’s that motivation just in life, in general or with your work as well, or?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:35:44):
Well, indirectly with my work. Like he, he, he, um, fostered my interests as a kid. And so that’s probably why I started to like physics and song. So I don’t, you know, fisher technique. It’s so many kids play with legal, right? Yeah. But I didn’t have much legal. I had this other thing called Fisher technique and it’s, it’s, it’s a bit like Lego, but it’s three more, three dimensional because you can connect the breaks also like sideways and downwards and so on.

Peter O’Toole (00:36:16):
So what your dad can’t he himself is a physicist or a science.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:36:20):
He he’s a judge. Uh, yeah. So, um, he like, they’re all judges and lawyers in my family.

Peter O’Toole (00:36:29):
That doesn’t mean they’re not scientific minded.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:36:31):
Oh yes. You’ll have to. Actually, it’s interesting. Maybe many people don’t know, but I think the whole field of law studies is very, very mathematical in a way. I mean, they’re not calculating or something like this, but they they’re very logical, right. This, this condition has to be met so that then this law applies. And so honestly you have to really think in a very mathematical frame in a way

Peter O’Toole (00:36:55):
I’m just going to go back to your first inspiration with, with Richard, because I don’t know his lifestyle, you said, uh, inspiration from his lifestyle and his physics, but I’ve got to what, what’s his lifestyle I’m just intrigued.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:37:08):
Well, you should read this book called you’re surely joking, Mr. Feynman. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a small book, highly recommended it’s, it’s written by some tape recordings that he did with was laten. And I think it was so, um, yeah, he was just, um, crazy in a way. Yeah. But in a good way. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s a fun book.

Peter O’Toole (00:37:33):
You’re not going to give you any more. I’m intrigued now.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:37:38):
Yes. That’s a fun fact in there.

Peter O’Toole (00:37:41):
So besides your inspirations, what about your hobbies? You know, what what’d you do in your spare time?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:37:48):
Well, um, I, I, I play some musics from time to time, so practice a little bit guitar and very recently also drums, but, um,

Peter O’Toole (00:38:00):
I heard you can’t beat playing the drums. Sorry. That was so bad.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:38:08):
Definitely true.

Peter O’Toole (00:38:12):
Sorry. Carry on.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:38:14):
Well, the neighbors still have to come to terms with that hobby. Yeah. I would say, but in a way, what you would call work is also my hobby. Right. So if I’m spending, I spend a lot of my free time on work-related things, but they are not really work. They will maybe become work when they work. So, um, like, like trying out crazy stuff, um, at home to see if it works and so on. That’s, that’s lots of fun too.

Peter O’Toole (00:38:46):
Can you give an example? I give away your next lot of research in advance.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:38:51):
Yeah. Well, I w my brother presented me with a 3d printer, and so I was trying to first trying to reproduce this UC two stuff that, um, that Benedict [Inaudible], uh, at work came up with. And so I wanted to see, can I, can I do that at home and so on, but now I’m, I’m trying to make some changes to it and come up with new ideas of how to cheaply construct optical instruments and so on.

Peter O’Toole (00:39:21):
So you, I presume you’re having to code into the 3d printer to get the structure that you’re wanting. Is that right?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:39:28):
You have to codes no. Um, you, you have to learn computerated design, right? So there’s, there’s programs. I’m trying to use a program called free cat. Now that is totally free. And, uh, yeah, you, you, you have to design things and that takes a little bit of getting used to so steep learning curve

Peter O’Toole (00:39:52):
And how much, uh, how much of the, the wax, the plastics, the polymers, wherever you put into the printer, how is it an expensive hobby or is it

Rainer Heintzmann (00:40:02):
Not at all? Not at all. So the printer itself was, I think, less than 200 Euro. And the material is about depends on the quality that you buy between 10 and 20 Euro for one kilogram, but one kilogram gets you one year of printing or something like this. It depends how much you print. Of course. Yeah. But

Peter O’Toole (00:40:24):
That’s cheaper than an ink jet.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:40:27):
Yeah. In a way, in a way it is. Yeah.

Peter O’Toole (00:40:29):
It’s a lot cheaper than it. Trust me. The amount, it costs to change the income. Yeah. It’s a lot cheaper.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:40:34):
What’s kind of cool. You can, you can nowadays download so much stuff from the internet also to print. So that, that means when I was going, for example, in summer holiday, I was going on a little bike tour with my girlfriend and I just printed the night before we left, I printed a little plastic holder for a bottle that I could screw on my bike. So then, then I had a water bottle always with me during biking ride. Things like this. Or if, if, uh, from, from my rucksack that there was something that broke off. And I just, I don’t know that the part printed it one hour printing time or something like this, and you plug it in and works

Peter O’Toole (00:41:14):
As well.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:41:15):
Well, yeah, the end of the story is when, like shortly before finishing the bike tour, this, this thing broke and the water bottle was on the floor. And, uh, the rucksack thing is also broken by now, but it lasted for like half a year or something

Peter O’Toole (00:41:35):
Done to make as well. I guess, I suppose you could do it in any color you wanted as well.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:41:40):
Of course. Yeah. You should look at our lab where they print this UC two stuff. They have them in, in fluorescent pink and all kinds of colors

Peter O’Toole (00:41:51):
And how we completely digressing. But that little cube you had, how long would it take to print that? Um, he was any, you said about what it depends on like three centimeters. So how long would it take to print in that structure? Yeah,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:42:06):
This, this is five by five centimeters. And, uh, it depends like when, when I printed, this is pretty low quality. So then it takes about like one to two hours, I would think. Um, but, uh, if you print it with higher quality takes a bit longer, because then it has to finer layers. So, but that’s okay. And it’s in a way it’s a, it’s a satisfying feeling that you have the printer working for you while you’re doing something else, right?

Peter O’Toole (00:42:40):
Yeah. Okay.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:42:42):
What about email responses? And then always look a little bit to the side is the printer done by now?

Speaker 1 (00:42:49):
So it’s given me an idea of what to get my son for his, uh, birthday present, coming up, hopefully he won’t watch this beforehand. Otherwise I’ve just ruined his birthday presents. That would be so good, but I know he’d love, absolutely love to have a printer that he’d love to have a 3d printer to decedent. What about sports? You, you haven’t gotten to any team sports? Well,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:43:12):
Um, not really. When, when I was really young, I was for a very short time in a football, um, like a soccer club, but that didn’t last long. I always wanted to be like the goalkeeper, but they didn’t want me as a goalkeeper. And, and they, once they put me on the spot as a test, and there was like a remember that there was like 10 people firing balls at, at the goal. And I was trying to hold them and they said, Oh, you’re rubbish. Get out. And so then I left the, the football part and, uh, but finally what really put me off in a way from team sports is, um, that I once had an, an accident, uh, when we just, as a warmup, played some basketball and, uh, my feet got entangled with somebody else succeed. And that person fell flat on the face more or less and broke, broke off two teeth in the front. And so I thought, Oh, this is too dangerous. This, this contact sports. And so I try to stick to something where there’s always a clear barrier between you and your opponent,

Peter O’Toole (00:44:18):
But so I, I’ve got to pick you up on two points. One, your legs got entangled tangled. I’m sure is what most professional football is says when actually deliberately foul someone else. Uh, they then say they quit because they’re banned from the sport. And then you say you like this non-contact stuff. And yet isn’t what didn’t you say one of your hobbies was judo earlier on?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:44:39):
No, I didn’t say that. That was also when I was a kid, actually that was when this happened. That was the warmup for a judo session. But interestingly enough, um, I think I’m daring to say Judo is possibly less dangerous than football because it’s very well regulated, especially as a kid, because then you don’t do the nasty stuff. Like the, um, I don’t know how you call it. The lever lever moves with arms and so on that that is not so healthy, but,

Peter O’Toole (00:45:16):
Okay. So, so it’s controlled it’s okay. So what other sports have you gone have you do, do you enjoy doing or have enjoy doing, just to see how non-risky these, they see us in relation.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:45:27):
Okay. So I did table tennis when I was a kid

Peter O’Toole (00:45:31):
Relatively safe, relatively

Rainer Heintzmann (00:45:33):
Safe yet. And, um, well in school time, a little bit of badminton. Yeah. Then, and that’s really bad for your knees Badminton. And then of course dancing. Um,

Peter O’Toole (00:45:47):

Rainer Heintzmann (00:45:50):
Ah, yeah, my, my, my mom had a horse and so that’s why we had to try it. But then yeah. Then once the horse didn’t want me on its back anymore and I sort of survived, I didn’t even fall down. I was like, when, when the horse calm down, I was hanging like, like winter two at the side of the horse. But I think then I stepped down and said, Oh, maybe not, not again,

Peter O’Toole (00:46:18):
Uh, kayaking.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:46:20):
Yeah. Um, also as a kid, but I like, I quite enjoy doing it even nowadays. We, from time to time, we do a good outing group outings as a kayak trip or canoeing trip. That’s always fun.

Peter O’Toole (00:46:34):
I’ll take it. This is a whitewater stuff. This is just low. It tends to be quite a popular thing amongst microscopists is kayaking. I know Alison North really likes kayaking. Jennifer [inaudible] loves kayaking.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:46:49):
Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s also fun for holidays. Like when I was smaller, we went like with my cousin, we went to Sweden for like two weeks of kayaking from Lake to Lake and stuff like this. Lots of fun.

Peter O’Toole (00:47:01):
That’s a mention that you, you, you very rapidly, uh, went from doing a PhD on to becoming a group leader. So you could say that you are a high flyer, which I presume this is you in a glider.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:47:15):
Yeah. That that’s in a way, it’s, it’s a sad story because, um, I, you can start lighting very early. So I started at age 14 was this, and, and I did my license also, um, with 17 or 18, something like that. And then I did it quite intensely for many years. And then when I moved to Heidelberg, I stopped. But, uh, then I started taking it up in Jena again in England. I didn’t do it. Um, but I finally decided now to stop it, um, maybe for good, because it’s in a way it’s too dangerous. Um, and I, I, yeah, I finally, I realized because Ure [inaudible], you might remember him. He, he, uh, had a fatal gliding accident and, uh, that was not the first person that I knew personally, um, who didn’t survive this. And so that’s why I said that, stop it.

Peter O’Toole (00:48:10):
If I, if I just put my head here, maybe this is close. I want to get to actually flying a power glider.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:48:15):
Well, the gliders are fairly safe. Right. Um, compared to many other planes, but, um, they honestly are, but, but still it’s still you’re flying. Right. And normally humans don’t spend so much of their time in the air.

Peter O’Toole (00:48:33):
Uh we’ve we’ve looked at lots of the hobby stuff going back to, to work. It looks like you’ve obviously sampled quite a few things, enjoyed a lot of things outside of work. What about problems at work? Have you ever had any what’s the most difficult time you’ve encountered in your career and how have you overcome that? Have you ever encountered anything challenging or have you learned to live through it?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:49:00):
I guess there’s always like these, these personal situations at work, rarely, luckily, very rarely, but sometimes you have, um, group internal differences that some members of the groups can’t stand others. Um, that can be challenging. That can be other things that may be difficult. Um, like, um, for example, alcohol at work is, is a potential problem if that happens. And sometimes it’s, it’s very difficult to even realize what is going on. Right. Um, so these are, these are challenging moments I would say, but other than that, it’s always fun. And there’s, there’s a lot of fun moments and I always had a great group.

Peter O’Toole (00:49:50):
Yeah. That would be the alcohol that makes it great fun.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:49:54):
Yeah. And partly that’s also true, but it can also be the opposite. So

Peter O’Toole (00:50:00):
I’ve got to, what is that personal experience with the alcohol at work? Or is it people in the lab or

Rainer Heintzmann (00:50:05):
Yeah, twice, twice personal experience. Okay.

Peter O’Toole (00:50:12):
That’s not as tough to recognize that. So that was being to acknowledge that too.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:50:17):
It’s, it’s really difficult. I mean, personal experience as, as members right. In the lab. Um, so it’s, it’s difficult to realize this, like usually I didn’t realize it myself. It was people coming to me that say, you should talk to this and that, that person there’s something really wrong here. So in one case it was even a sales rep. So even my own group didn’t tell me about that problem. It was the sales rep that says something is wrong here.

Peter O’Toole (00:50:53):
Gosh. So, so, so is that like, no, I won’t ask where that was. Cause at that

Rainer Heintzmann (00:51:00):
You never had any sort of experience in that direction with your group members or

Peter O’Toole (00:51:06):
No. No, there’s always very different characters. And I think that’s one of the joys of it. It’s quite a diverse group, uh, and it come and go, but no I’ve been really fortunate, uh, either that, or very ignorant and not noticed, but I’m fairly confident knowing the individuals and, and as they’ve always gone on that, they’ve not had any drink or drug problems.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:51:28):
Well, you know, I mean, the problem is also then where, where do you, like if you don’t interfere at all, that’s bad, but you should, of course it’s not interfere too much because it’s still a personal decision of that people. Right. So as long as it doesn’t affect work, it’s not your business,

Peter O’Toole (00:51:49):
But I guess we are there in some cases, depends, I guess it depends on their position, but as their boss, I think we are that we are their mentors as well. And we are there to, to guide, I guess, and actually thinking about it. Now we have had people on the, on the wider team that have had problems, but I’ve not had to deal with that firsthand. So how did you approach them? Did you give any advice or any structure or, or was it that you, you were too thought too distant from them of the problem?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:52:21):
No. Well, I, I had to talk of course. Yeah. But luckily there’s also, you can get lots of help, um, from university in this case, this right. They had, they have, um, uh, some professional advice of how to handle situations like that. And it’s probably a good idea to take that advice, right. Because, um, it’s not easy to handle this.

Peter O’Toole (00:52:45):
No, I you’re absolutely. Right. And I think actually universities in general are great employers that they have so much in the way support around it, as much as many will criticize the little things. If you look at the bigger picture, actually, I think, I think they’re pretty good and very good employers in, in the main, I think I can hear people now screaming at me saying, no, it’s not the case, but I think when you reflect and take a bigger picture, they are actually excellent. Yeah. I think I’m very fortunate. York has been tremendously good. And I think you’re sitting there. I you’ve probably had very similar experiences both through KCL into Jena of being good places to work.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:53:32):
Yeah. Yeah. I can agree.

Peter O’Toole (00:53:35):
What’s it like as a, I, it is a city, but it’s almost a town Jena, what’s it like as a place to live and work?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:53:45):
It’s, it’s quite beautiful. Actually. It’s funny because when, when you’re a first here, well, there’s, there’s one thing most people know, Jena, from passing by on the Autobahn on the motorway. And that is a big problem because the part of you know, that you pass by is sort of the most ugly part of Jena. So it’s like this skyscraper type of thing, and people think, Oh, that’s really an ugly city, but then the downtown Jena’s really beautiful. And the setting is really beautiful because when you are here, you think like you’re in the mountains, it looks like you’re, you’re not quite in the Alps, but in a, in a little mountain range, but it’s not true. It’s just that there’s river, Zala carved a really deep Valley into a flat area. So once you hike up to the top of the Hill, you realize, Oh, there’s no mountains here. This is all pretty flat up here.

Peter O’Toole (00:54:41):
Yeah. I I’ve been to Jena a few times. Never got to explore it to any great depth. Uh, I should take more time when I come over.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:54:52):
And because of that, it’s a very long and small city. You understand it’s not, not round, but it’s, it’s along the river in the Valley. So

Peter O’Toole (00:55:02):
Now it’s totally different to York, which is very flat, despite being associated with the Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales and the big Hills around York itself is dead flat. And it is round because we had got the city walls, city walls all the way around us from the city walls. Right. All York Minster at the highest point in York. So that if we wanted a good view, you go to the top of The Minster and you can see for miles around because there’s nothing in the way that, so over all your career from, from school through to your undergraduate PhD, post-doc, KCL Jena. What’s been the most enjoyable time. If you don’t back with rose tinted glasses, what’s, what’s the most, what do you enjoy? What period of time have you enjoyed? Most?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:55:55):
I would probably say the time in Heidelberg. So my PhD time was the most enjoyable is that you have to fold, but also like, um, social life and so on was, was really great there. So,

Peter O’Toole (00:56:11):
And a lovely city as well.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:56:12):
Very nice city. Very nice people.

Peter O’Toole (00:56:16):
You have to say that because some of them, we actually tuning in watching or listening. Miss, you have to say the nice people. Yeah. Also I, lots of the science

Rainer Heintzmann (00:56:24):
Settings, uh, setting is really good. Like the EMBL up on the mountain. There’s also Max-Planck Institute, their university at the time I was there, it was still a downtown city that I was, but now everything is what they call [inaudible]. Don’t have a failed, but a cool, really nice.

Peter O’Toole (00:56:47):
So quickfire questions completely different than at home. What would you rather to do read a book or watch TV?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:56:56):
I probably enjoy more reading the book. Unfortunately I watch too much TV.

Peter O’Toole (00:57:02):
Oh, what sort of TV is it? Films or TV app or comedy or TV episodes? What’s your genre. What do you like?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:57:10):
Um, well, crime stories probably is what I mostly watch

Peter O’Toole (00:57:15):
And eat in or eat out,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:57:20):
Um, at the moment eat in it used to eat out. Right. So at the moment, it’s just because there’s no, you cannot eat out, but normally I go eating out quite a lot.

Peter O’Toole (00:57:32):
Okay. So let’s think German food, Italian, Chinese, Asia, go on what’s your favorite food types?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:57:43):
Um, most of the time that I eat more fancy food is Vietnamese. We have a very good Vietnamese restaurant here. Um, however, I quite enjoy Indian food as well. It’s just that Jena, it has one Indian place, but it’s not for my taste. Not the greatest that’s in London. Of course. Yeah. That’s lots of Indian food. You have to be a bit careful if it’s not too hot, what they serve you. Right.

Peter O’Toole (00:58:15):
Uh, don’t go down. That hottest food i’ve ever had was actually in Heidelberg.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:58:19):
Okay. and Indian place?

Peter O’Toole (00:58:22):
No, it was Thai. Okay. Uh, drinking beer, wine,

Rainer Heintzmann (00:58:28):
Wine, red or white. Um, more white than red.

Speaker 1 (00:58:34):
You said that not rosy tea your coffee?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:58:43):
Um, I would say tea, but I drink both. I, I drink coffee in the morning. One cup, actually this morning, I made me a cup of tea and a cup of coffee

Peter O’Toole (00:58:53):
Extravagant. So London does have an influence and a cup of tea said you came through, you, you play your musical instruments. Uh, what music do you like to listen to him?

Rainer Heintzmann (00:59:04):
Um, all sorts actually, um, sometimes classical musics, but, but also, um, I like this sort of Latin funk rhythms, a little bit jazzy sort of things. I don’t like, you know, Jamiroquai or, um, I like some old stuff like Supertramp

Peter O’Toole (00:59:25):
Yeah. Okay. No, I’m with you on those. I’m quite happy with that. That’s quite cool. I like a bit JK, so I’m good. And what about your favorite film of all time? Tough questions. I know science. You got answered from like that first four.

Rainer Heintzmann (00:59:46):
That’s that’s a hard one. I don’t know. I, I don’t have one. Um, I would say

Peter O’Toole (00:59:52):

Rainer Heintzmann (00:59:54):
I, I liked the Hobbit series, for example, so I like fantasy stuff as well.

Peter O’Toole (01:00:00):
Okay. The hobbit savings are not Lord of the rings

Rainer Heintzmann (01:00:05):
Lord of the rings as well, but the Hobbit is in 3d. So that’s a Lord of the rings, unfortunately not.

Peter O’Toole (01:00:15):
So you like the 3d films in 3d? Yeah.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:00:18):
I like watching them. Yeah. I have a TV that has this polarization based 3d. Um, so you can, you can watch 3d films on it.

Peter O’Toole (01:00:28):
I just find them gratuitous. Just, it almost seems half the time. It’s for 3d, for the sake of being 3d and the bits you want to be 3d generally go back to 2D. I’m always lost. I’ve got a couple more bits for you. You sent me this image. So I guess it’s as close to, I’m going to get, I actually wore the shirt to match it. Look, it was as close as I could get to match your image.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:00:53):
Yeah. So, uh, so this image is sort of, uh, many people might know it from, from my talk. So this is sort of a zoomed in version of what I used for my talks to demonstrate structured illumination. And so if you overlap it with another grading, uh, you see actually this, this figure of earns Abba. But the funny thing is, if you turn that grating, then you see Frieder-Schiller. And so that’s, that’s the guy who gave the name to our university.

Peter O’Toole (01:01:23):
I also found that if you enlarge and shrink the picture, you can start to see the images just by expanding and contracting and within PowerPoint. Well, the one image anyway,

Rainer Heintzmann (01:01:34):
Plus there’s a more reform between the, on the screen.

Peter O’Toole (01:01:38):
Yeah. Yeah. I thought I was really caught that. Wow, that’s really cool. Unfortunately, I can’t do that with backgrounds. Uh,

Rainer Heintzmann (01:01:43):
Yeah. I just saw actually my chair here, you see has also some structured elimination effects. It’s a bit difficult to see here

Peter O’Toole (01:01:51):
After back there that the vent at the back. And, uh, actually I I’d be really wrong not to, not to finish on, uh, on, on these pictures. So this, I tell you a nature lover as well, but it looks a bit, looks like it, right? So this is you must’ve been one and a half.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:02:14):
I don’t really know, to be honest,

Peter O’Toole (01:02:18):
That’s a very old, loved it like this. Yeah. And I noticed the diffraction grating just behind you at the back, just above your head. Look the fence, the fence, give you your first a pattern on that. So just to finish, uh, if you had someone starting out today, uh, looking at careers, what advice would you give them?

Rainer Heintzmann (01:02:51):
Well, my advice would be you should do what you fancy most, right? So do the things that you really love. Of course you have to sort of to keep the world around you happy, but as long as you’re doing what you, what you love yourself, then, then this will make you having success in your field right now.

Peter O’Toole (01:03:14):
And to enjoy yourself outside of work. Cause I I’ve seen you. I’ve seen you at plenty of conferences and I know that your dancing is a legendary as it’s important to be able to let your hair down. That’s a mind you, not that I’ve got a huge amount of hair to let down, but you’re certainly in a better place than I am on that one.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:03:32):
Not so long at the moment I hear, but.

Peter O’Toole (01:03:36):
thank you very much for joining me today. It’s been great to catch up. It’s been too long.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:03:40):
Thank you. Was a lot of fun.

Peter O’Toole (01:03:42):
See you hopefully very soon.

Rainer Heintzmann (01:03:44):
See you soon. Have a nice evening. Bye bye.

Intro/Outro (01:03:50):
Thank you for listening to The Microscopists, a Bitesize Bio podcast sponsored by Zeiss Microscopy to view all audio and video recordings from this series, please visit

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