Early Stage Researchers
What is your project/research about?
My project is about defining the molecular mechanism underlie the disruption of the blood-brain barrier during inflammation as seen in Multiple Sclerosis. My research involve mostly in vitro studies, with a particular interest on microRNAs and on a process called endothelial to mesenchymal transition, a novel mechanism during blood-brain barrier dysfunctions. However, as part of my project and through our collaboration within the nEUROinflammation network , I am also performing some in vivo research.
Why did you apply for a Marie Curie ITN and especially this project?
I decided to apply for a Marie Curie ITN position for many reasons. First of all, Marie Curie fellowships are well renowned for the high quality of research and for many possibility that the consortium offers you, including networking, workshops and the possibility of doing part of your research in another laboratory. Moreover, being part of the Marie Curie project offers you an advantages compare to other “regular” PhD fellowships when it comes to look for a job after your PhD. Secondly, the salaries is also really good and allows you to save some money during these three years and allows you to start planning your future. In particular, I decided to apply for this project both because I liked the project proposal, I liked the group and the possibility that this University could offer me, but I also like the city. This last aspect I think is important as well since it will determine the place where you`ll spend at least the next three-four year of your life. This was also important during the decision process.
What is so fascinating for you on research in general?
I like the constant progress of the research. Something that make you constantly thinking of what might be the answers for the many questions you might come up with. I like the constant exchange of opinions/ideas with your colleagues that helps you to become a better scientist. Finally, I like a type of research that have direct clinical application more than a real fundamental type of reassert. For me it is very important that your work and your reassert can lead to a progress in finding a cure/therapies that will help patients.
What do you do in your free time?
During my free time I like to do some sports, tennis and squash quite often and skiing during the winter. I also love to cook and try different type of food and wine. I like music, TV series and in general hanging out during the weekend with a group of friends for a drink. When I have the possibility I also love to travel and discover new places.
What are your plans for your future?
My plan after the three year contract with the Marie-Curie is to finish the PhD, which will required at least another year, due to the regulation of the University. After that, I am planning to stay in the city where I am now and to look for a position in a company if possible. The second option is to look for a post-doc position in the same city but not necessary in the same University.
Regarding our meetings:
Please give a short summary what you remember about are Network Meetings?
I remember both the quality of the scientific part of them, including the workshops, the presentation by all the ESRs and the keynote lectures which were very interesting; but also the social aspect of those meeting, including the tour around the cities where we had our meeting and the fun having with the other ESRs.
What are the impressions and learnings you take with you from each meeting?
I found the meetings very interesting and necessary for our development as a scientist and as a better person. I have learn a lot form those meeting both from the scientific part, including how to deal with the difficulties that you will encounter during you. I have learn to discuss and share opinions with other people, which I think is very important. However, to be honest I would have preferred to have the possibility of choosing between some courses/workshops instead of others that might have been more useful for my specific project.
What was the most useful workshop?
I found really useful the workshop about statistic and the one about scientific writing.