MEET THE DIBIO SCIENTIST SERIES : Laura Civiero
Pubblicato il: 13.05.2020 15:36
Laura is a young researcher (RTDa) at DiBio
Can you summarize in few words your research?
The focus of my research is to dissect novel molecular pathways in brain physiology with a special interest dedicated to the study of glial cells. Glia are non-neuronal cells that provide support and protection to neurons. Since glial cells are emerging as a key players in many human brain diseases, my discoveries will help to inform on how manipulate their functions for therapeutic purposes.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your work?
The brain is an intricate network of neuronal connections surrounded by as many glial extensions. Understanding cell relationships on such a complex environment is complicated and requires comprehensive and tailored experimental approaches. Therefore, being able to solve part of this puzzle with my own research is a fascinating and rewarding challenge.
Tell us your story: what brings you to DiBio?
After my PhD, I joined the Biophysics and Cellular Physiology Lab at DiBio where they study a truly fascinating topic: the molecular basis of neuronal degeneration. Our brain is made up of about 83 million nerve cells, each of them connected with up to 10,000 other cells. This is by far the most complex system present in nature. How neuronal networks work, and how and why they may incur in aberrant regulation are still largely unsolved questions. Since 2010, I contributed to unveil aberrant cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration that take place in Parkinson’s disease. This was done in tight collaboration with other research groups all over the world.
What’s your favourite “toy” for research – and what can it do?
Not a concrete but rather a motivational “toy”: enthusiasm. I firmly believe that to perform good science we need to totally embrace it and fall in love with what we study. Another key ingredient in my research is the collaboration among teams that share the same final aim: shed light on brain complexity.
What are your interests outside science?
Very few interests I have to say…all my free time is entirely dedicated to my family. But I have plenty of fun with them!