Meet Our Lab Heroes Awards™ 2022 Highly Commended Nominees: Patricia Mariscal Ramírez
We’re delighted to introduce another of our Lab Heroes Awards™ 2022 Highly Commended nominees! Patricia Mariscal Ramírez was nominated by 15 of her colleagues who described her as ‘the glue that holds the lab together’.
Patricia is a PhD student in the Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychobiology research group (Berrocoso Lab) at the Universidad de Cádiz, Spain - INiBICA - CIBERSAM, where she studies sex differences in the comorbidity of chronic pain and mood disorders. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Universidad de Sevilla and a Master’s degree in Biomedicine from Universidad de Cádiz.
We spoke to Patricia about the team at the Berrocoso lab, her thoughts on creating supportive working environments, and the importance of celebrating life scientists and their work…
Congratulations, Patricia! How did it feel when you found out that so many of your colleagues had nominated you as their Lab Hero?
My nomination to the “Lab Heroes Awards” was a complete surprise. It feels great to know that my colleagues, including my mentors, spent their valuable time supporting me that way. I enjoyed reading all their comments, and it made me feel proud to be part of this amazing group.
How did it feel when you found out you had been chosen by our panel as 'Highly Commended'?
Being chosen as 'Highly Commended' was absolutely unexpected. I felt very lucky and honoured as I assumed it would never be possible because there were many nominations from people worldwide.
Why do you think it’s so important to celebrate life science researchers, and what more could be done to show life scientists recognition?
Celebrating life science researchers is crucial to show the world the unquestionable importance of science. As scientists, being good communicators is a fundamental part of our work. This way, we can help people to be concerned about science and embrace it as part of their lives. Mentions like “Lab Heroes Awards” are very important because they can be a loudspeaker to raise awareness of the importance of research and its contribution to society.
Did you always want to be a scientist when you were younger, and if so, why?
I have always been fascinated by science and the way it can contribute to improving people's lives.
What do you enjoy most about working in STEM?
Being a life science researcher is a continuous challenge. Every day, you face new problems and learn how to deal with them, bringing you the opportunity to be creative and think outside the box.
Your colleagues describe you as 'the glue holding everything together' in the lab - what are the qualities needed to be a supportive lab colleague?
When talking about being a supportive colleague, I consider that one of the most important things is to be a good listener, to offer suggestions, and to share ideas with your colleagues.
Can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on in the lab currently?
In our lab, we study sex differences in the comorbidity of chronic pain and neuropsychiatric disorders. We investigate which specific brain regions and circuitries are involved in this comorbidity to identify novel biomarkers and more effective treatments.
What does a typical day in the lab look like for you?
All my days begin with a train trip to Cádiz as I live in another city called Jerez de la Frontera. Once I arrive at the laboratory, I usually check my daily planner and start my experiments, data analysis, and meetings with my supervisors and colleagues. Lunchtime is one of the best moments of the day because we all eat together and share a few laughs.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing life scientists at the moment?
One of the challenges facing scientists is getting funding for their research projects and the lack of opportunities and stability in their careers.
What key piece of advice would you give to a younger scientist just starting out in their career?
I would advise them to choose carefully the field of research, and particularly, the team they are going to join. You need to be surrounded by people that motivate and encourage you!
How do you see your career developing in the future/where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I would like to continue working on what I enjoy the most, in such a collaborative environment.
Which scientists working today do you admire the most?
I would definitely say my mentors and all my colleagues. Their passion for science is inspiring. I admire the commitment and hard work that they show every single day, and always with a smile!
Thank you so much for speaking to us Patricia! And congratulations once again on being highly commended! We look forward to keeping in touch with you and following your career as it progresses.
Connect with Patricia and Berrocoso Lab team:
- Twitter: @Berrocoso_Lab
- Instagram: @Berrocoso_Lab
And you can meet our other Lab Heroes Awards™ 2022 prize-winners here.
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