Karina, a woman with super short brown hair is wearing a black hat and has her hand on top of the hat to take it off. She wears huge, feather-like earrings and lipstick.
Karina Sturm: medical assistant, laboratory technician, and today, journalist, writer, and advocate

Whenever I need stories that do not portray people living with chronic conditions as ‘patients’ or ‘sufferers,’ but as people that face their illness with courage, strength, and hope, I give Karina a call and reserve the front page.

Raoul Mazhar – Editor-in-chief Austrian Ärzte Woche


September 2002 – June 2006

Three year standardized education as medical assistant and permanent position in medical offices:

Dr. Bauer/ Ehrengut/ Wonka in Neumarkt, Germany

Final grade: 1.33 (resembles grade A)

Exam: 1.7 (resembles grade B)

Main focus: 

  • Care for complex, mostly chronically ill patients
  • Guidance and examination of diabetic patients
  • Diagnostic testing such as ECG, geriatric diagnostics, vital parameters, cancer screening
  • Assistance during outpatient surgeries
  • Phlebotomy, injections
  • Responsible for office hygiene

September 2006 – July 2009

Three year standardized study as laboratory technician at the Staatliche Berufsfachschule B8 in Nürnberg, Germany

Final grade: 1.04 (resembles 21 subjects with grade A, one subject with grade B)

Exam: 1.3 (grade A)

Resulted in admission to a program that supports students with extraordinary talents

August 2009 – December 2012

Department Biology, Chair of Biotechnology, University of Erlangen Prof. Yves Muller

Researching bacterial effector proteins, in particular SiiE from Salmonella

Main focus:

  • Chromatography
  • Cultivation of bacterial expression systems
  • Protein biochemistry and crystallography
  • Lectures and presentations
  • Lab management
  • Support for students
  • Documentation and review of results in scientific publications

2013 – today

Disabled due to illness

Freelance journalist and award-winning filmmaker

My work centers around medicine, science, chronic illness and disability with a focus on the accurate representation of people with disabilities.

January 2018 – 2020

Edinburgh Napier University; Masters of Arts with distinction in international journalism for media professionals

Winner of the class medal for outstanding journalistic and academic work


2021 – 2022: Book: ”Ratgeber Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrome” published by Springer Nature

2021 – Ongoing: #AbleismusToetet (www.ableismus.de) – Journalistic research project uncovering violence towards people with disabilities in German care facilities, project lead and editor-in-chief since 2023

2022 – Ongoing: Book: ”Stoppt Ableismus!” will be published by Rowohlt in January 2024

2023 – Ongoing: Die Neue Norm Podcast

Extracurricular Activities

2014 – Ongoing: Advocate for people living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (Blog, podcast, speaking engagements, social media presence, books, book chapters, networking across the globe, peer counseling); supporting SOS Kinderdorf.

2020 – Ongoing: Editor-in-Chief (Curating Chronic Pain Partners (a US non-profit organization) monthly newsletter; leading a team of 10 writers; producing original content in text, video and audio)

2022 – Ongoing: Supporting the disability right organization AbilityWatch e. V. (Germany) and Sozialhelden e. V. (Germany)

2023 – Ongoing: Board Member of the Connective Tissue Coalition (USA) and active member of the Deutsche Ehlers-Danlos Initiative e. V. (Germany)

2017 – 2021: Volunteer at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco (Visiting residents as part of the Activity Department)

2023: Judge for the Kathrine Schneider Journalism Award

Courses and qualification

Distance study – Journalism SGD (Studiengemeinschaft Darmstadt) (grade 1; resembles A)


German (native speaker)

English: TOEFL Score 119/120 (2017)


MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point)

Apple Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie

Basic HTML

FileZilla, OsiriX, Scrivener

WordPress (built eight WP sites so far)

Social Media (design and management of the accounts of two magazines)


Video production including filming & editing; closed captions & descriptive audio


Blogging, SEO


Academic writing


Content creation

Creative writing


Downloadable Résumé