ESR14 – Marlene Pfeffer
Nationality : German / Italian
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor: Fabio Benfenati
Host organization: IIT
Secondments: On-Iris Biomed / Femtonics / EKUT
Individual research project: Development and testing of organic nanoparticle-based light actuators for retinal applications
I discovered my interest in Neuroscience early during my Bachelor in Biotechnology at the University of Pisa, Italy and the University of Lisbon, Portugal. I was fascinated by how cells of the central nervous system communicate and react to stimuli, reason why I then enrolled in the International Master of Neuroscience program at the University of Bordeaux (NeuroBIM). During this time, I had the opportunity to gain lab experience, first in 2018 at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience (IINS) in Bordeaux and then, in 2019, at the University of Montreal.
In Bordeaux, under the supervision of Dr. Etienne Herzog, my work focused on the cellular and molecular characterization of dopaminergic synapses using a novel method to purify dopaminergic varicosities. In Montreal, under the supervision of Dr. Richard Robitaille, I tested the effects of an acute drug treatment in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on early electrophysiological impairments at the neuromuscular junction.
In my PhD project, I wanted to combine my previous experiences with my main interests and this is exactly what I found within the enTRAIN Vision project: I will study bio-inspired applications to overcome neurological disorders. Finally, I am very happy to be part of this consortium where different labs around Europe collaborate and share their expertise on different approaches with the shared aim of exploring strategies to restore vision in blind patients. I am sure it will be a challenging and enriching experience.