Meet our Early Career Scientist Grant Winner Cristina Miralpeix
We are pleased to introduce the latest winner of our Early Career Scientist Grant! Cristina Miralpeix of the Université de Bordeaux is the next lucky recipient of our monthly $500 grant awarded to PhD and postdoc life scientists to help support their careers.
Cristina is a postdoctoral researcher working at INSERM U1215, France, in Daniela Cota’s lab. She plans to use the grant to help fund her attendance at FENS 2022 in Paris.
When we asked how she felt about receiving the grant, she said:
When I first saw the notification of the grant application success, I felt really lucky and grateful to Hello Bio for their support. I will use this grant to attend the FENS in-person congress in Paris, a perfect opportunity to share my research work and learn from leading neuroscientists. Cristina Miralpeix, Université de Bordeaux, France, Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant winner
Congratulations Cristina! First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?
I am investigating how a specific neuronal population from the brain is controlling food intake under a stressful situation and whether this regulation is sex-dependent. Understanding how the brain modulates this process is important since patients with mood-related disorders often suffer from eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa) or obesity, with a higher prevalence in women.
What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?
I love to study how the brain orchestrates complex behaviours. The brain is a fascinating machine that can rapidly integrate information from the environment and from the organism itself and make a decision to ensure survival. For instance, in a situation where an animal is really hungry, it will have to decide whether to increase risk-taking decisions to search for food in a dangerous situation or whether to displace a defensive behaviour to escape from possible threats. Specific neuronal circuits will balance the needs of the animal and the threats of the environment to perform the most appropriate behaviour for survival.
Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?
I do not admire one specific scientist, but I do admire scientists that are humble, who use their time to help others, and who respect everyone’s work.
What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?
In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges facing scientists today is to make science equal, to reach a point where everyone has the same opportunities independently of their origin, their sex or the country or the laboratory you work in. In addition, there is a need to adjust the work-life balance for scientists.
And finally… what’s your favourite science quote?
In Spain we say “la paciencia es la madre de la ciencia” - translated meaning “patience is the mother of science” and it means that patience and perseverance will take you where you want to go. I always repeat this sentence in my head when I am doing a tough experiment!
Thank you so much Cristina! We hope you enjoy the FENS congress in Paris!
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