Léa BECKER  Vice Chairman 2018-19

It’s time for our deputy chairwoman’s interview: Léa Becker! 

  • Name: Léa Becker
  • Your position at Doctoneuro: Vice-chairwoman
  • Your academic path: My story starts in kindergarten. Everything was going well until I had to learn how to tie my shoelaces… Oh is this too much information? Did I start too far back? Sorry!Let’s focus on my science career. After my baccalaureate, I directly started a bachelor degree at the faculty of biology of Strasbourg, where I stayed until my master’s degree, in Cellular and Integrated Neuroscience (all of this without knowing how to tie my shoelaces!).

I’m currently a second year PhD student at the INCI (still in Strasbourg, can you sense that I like to travel?), working with Ipek Yalcin’s team on the role of the amygdala-anterior cingulate cortex pathway in major depressive disorders.

In a nutshell, using a cool technique called optogenetics, I try to understand the consequences of activating or inhibiting the connection between the amygdala and the cingulate cortex on depressive behaviour in mice. If you want to know more about it, come to the Neurotechs! I’m always available to talk.

  • What brought you here, in biology and more specifically neuroscience?

How I chose Neuroscience is actually a funny story: during my bachelor degree, I was hesitating between virology/microbiology and neuroscience, and one morning I woke just knowing I had to choose neuroscience. Sleep is interesting that way, isn’t it?

For my PhD, I wanted to work on a cool technique. But what made me sure it was the right thesis for me was the good feeling I had with my thesis director. One of the most important things according to me!

  • What would you like to do later and why?

After the PhD, my long-term goal is to become a lecturer. My short term target is to go to the US or Canada for a post-doc. It would allow me to see what’s being done elsewhere, to manage a project and learn new things! And maybe I’ll come back with a wacky accent!

  • What made you want to participate in Doctoneuro?

I got involved with the association thanks the theatre project, co-organized with Neurex, where I met the founding members of Doctoneuro. Today, it’s the desire to offer and manage events that facilitate cohesion and solidarity in the scientific community that motivates me to fully invest myself.

What are your objectives as vice-president of Doctoneuro?

As vice-chairwoman, my first words were about the severe lack of training in programming in the curriculum. I would like to implement training in the Neuroscience curriculum. This will start this year, with the Neurotechs interventions!

Any last words or advice you would like to give Master students joining the community, or other PhD students?

I like the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” so I would tell you to give yourself the means to achieve everything you set out to and stay curious.