Goal for 2013: To learn and to publish.
Where are you from? : I was born in Albania and moved in Greece at the age of 10.
What is your education/employment/scientific background?: Completed my undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. As a next step, I conducted research on the development of inhibitory molecules against complement system under the supervision of Dr. John D. Lambris, at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in University of Pennsylvania, USA.
What is your current position in the lab?: Currently, I am a MSc student in the department of IMS at UofT.
How did you become interested in neuroscience and your specialized field within neuroscience?: I am fascinated by the anatomical and functional complexity of the central nervous system! Immunology on the other hand is my passion! I consider it as a multipurpose tool system that is implicated in almost every biological function. The largely unexplored role of the immune system in the complications of spinal cord injury intrigued me to pursue my graduate studies in this lab and I am very excited about being able to focus on my two favorite scientific fields at the same time.
What is your current research project?: My project in Michael Fehlings lab is to delineate the mechanisms by which the immune response affects the secondary events of spinal cord injury. My distinctive players in this complex game are the complement system and humoral responses.
What are some of your greatest accomplishments?: I have received a number of scholarships including a full financial coverage for conducting research at University of Pennsylvania, USA. My greatest accomplishment though, was to be able to successfully combine full time extracurricular work with top grades during my undergraduate studies.
What are your career goals?: I aspire that my research will contribute the scientific society with a great load of knowledge into the field of neuroinflammation.
What are some of your extracurricular activities?: When not at the lab, most likely I will be learning a foreign language, reading psychology, dancing, biking or being out with people I love.