- Your name: Léa Becker
- Your position in Doctoneuro: President
- Your education:
I have a Bachelor degree in Biology and a Master Degree in Neuroscience. I also have BHS stage 2 (horseriding) and my 2nd level for scuba-diving but I think you don’t really care.
- What you're currently doing:
PhD (3rd year) on the role of amygdala to anterior cingulate pathway in major depressive disorder (INCI, team Barrot/Yalcin). In a nutshell I'm shining light in the brain of mice to make them depressed. Then I pass them in the fMRI to understand which are the repercussion on brain networks. Finally I'm also doing RNAsequencing with the hope to find genes that are dysregulated and that could be targeted for antidepressant effect.
- What brought you to do that:
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work on something very integrated, with different levels of investigation (molecular, cellular, whole organism) and I really wanted to learn technics such as optogenetics or molecular analysis. Then I chose the team in which I’m currently doing my PhD because I got a good felling with my PI and I think that a good relationship with my thesis supervisor is essential for bringing the best out of this PhD. After 2 years I can really say that this was a good decision. Concerning the topic of my thesis (mood disorder) I must say that it was not necessarily my first motivation but give me a question and I’ll feel the urge to find answers!
- What you'd like to do after that:
I want to go in post-doc after my PhD. I’ve seen some labs in the US that could fit with what I’m doing but I still have one (let’s hope 2) years left, so let’s see where I will be in the future (maybe building a shelter for abandoned dogs in Ireland who knows?). The final goal would be to become a researcher (she said throwing salt over her shoulder while holding a rabbit's paw, a four-leaf clover and crossing her fingers ... Oh, look isn’t that the black cat of the campus?) but I’m more and more thinking of not coming back to France for that. So for those who read what I said last year (I wanted to be a lecturer more than a researcher) you see, I already changed my mind!
- What brought you to invest yourself in Doctoneuro:
I was trapped (with beers)! More seriously during my first year of Master degree I was part of the theatre troupe and implicated in Doctoneuro events when it wasn’t an association strictly speaking. Then with 8 other students we wanted to give a more official structure to Doctoneuro and thus created this association. It was a wonderful experience since then, I met such amazing people and I would never change the time I spent in this association for anything in the world.
- What are your projects/objectives for Doctoneuro:
For this year I want to diversify the event proposed by the scientific animation pole (there is very good things in preparation I will let you discover them during the year!), create a professional network that will be useful (I think) to our members if they need contacts primarly outside of the academic field. My other project will be to create the same integration event we already have for french master student but for the foreigner (JMN and new PhD student). Finally, as I’m the last representative of the first board, I wish I will be able to give all the keys to the newcomers that choose to join us so they can pursue what we started. And I know they have the potential to achieve beautiful things. Also, I really want this association to persist until they make a gala or something like that for the 10th anniversary, like that I could make a dramatical entrance haha.
- Final words?
Last year I said something very thoughtful so I’m going to turn around and cite Alex Jason from Mythbuster “Remember kids the only difference between screwing around and doing science is writing it down”