The one that dances

I am the one who dances.

I have been interested in life sciences research since I have first seen movies about Ebola epidemics. I dreamt of being the one to be called and save the world. I grew up and aware of the difficulty behind saving the world. I haven’t quite given up yet. After doing my bachelor studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology, from FCT/UNL, I went on for a masters in Neuroscience. My stay in Rotterdam (Erasmus MC) made me realise people around the world are more similar than different. I also start taking what is good and I like from the places where I live and try to ignore what is missing. Since then I have also lived in the UK, where I worked in a pharmaceutical company. The shock of moving from academia to industry was only surpassed by the shock of moving back to academia. I have been doing my PhD in Immunology for two years now, studying Multiple Sclerosis in Zurich. I have deleted the genes coding for pattern recognition receptors from mice and now study the effect of this deletion in the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (the mouse equivalent of MS).

The last two years have been a journey of discovery: a PhD project takes time to materialise, research is slow, life is stressful and results are often frustrating. We have a team of about 15 people, they are all working in slightly (or completely) different topics, I learn new thing everyday just by having coffee with my colleagues, and this really keeps me going. I have discovered I like the inter-phases: when talking with someone from a different area, we need to ask more questions, be more precise, adapt vocabulary, stop assuming everyone has the same level of understanding or access to the same information.