MEET THE DIBIO SCIENTIST SERIES : Luca Pagani
Pubblicato il: 24.03.2020 15:39
Luca has been recently promoted to Associate Professor
Can you summarize in few words your research?
I am a Molecular Anthropologist, which means I use molecules (mostly DNA) from living people or from bone samples to investigate where do we come from, what did our ancestors do in the past and, ultimately, who we are.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is the chance I have to find an answer to the questions I ask, and through these answers to contribute my tiny little piece to the gigantic jigsaw the research community is assembling (and re-assembling) every day.
The most challenging part is the realization that going from A to B, one often needs to pass through several other intermediate and often unnecessarily convoluted bureaucratic steps.
Tell us your story: what brings you to DiBio?
After my degree in Pisa and PhD at the University of Cambridge, I carried out four years as a postdoctoral researcher in the UK and in Estonia, always keeping an eye open for opportunities to bring my research back to Italy. As soon as DiBio started looking for an Anthropologist, I applied and… glad to be here!
What’s your favourite “toy” for research – and what can it do?
My favourite toy for research is DNA, but that would be quite useless if I didn’t have computers to help me reading through it. So I would say “DNA in a dry lab”, being a dry lab the laboratory that does not need reagents to work. Yes, you guessed right: my computer. My favourite bit about computational analyses is that you don’t have to wait days or weeks to see how wrong, or right!, your ideas are. Any mistake in your hypothesis or in your coding ability materializes within matters of seconds in front of your eyes, for you to try and fix it if you don’t get too depressed about how many they are…
What are your interests outside science?
When I don’t mess around with DNA I play flute and saxophone with my friends. But I also like cats. And dinosaurs.