Our student Tanita Tzotzolaki completed a 3.5-month secondment between May – August 2022 in Claire Wyart’s lab at ICM. The main goal was to perform a deep behavioural analysis of zebrafish genetic models of Parkinson’s disease. This involved characterising the behavioural defects of five genetic mutants of the disease using a high throughput set up to analyse free swimming and escape responses. While at ICM, Tanita had a chance to work closely with members of the Wyart lab, including Maha Dhanasekar and Feng Quan, whilst also spending more time with the Paris-based ZENITHers.
My time at ICM helped me evolve greatly on a professional, as well as a personal level. Learning to use a new set up and applying it to my project opened my eyes to the broad variety of techniques that can be applied to my project. I also found that my dedication to my work expanded greatly as I started collecting a large set of data to fit in and build the story of my PhD. Additionally, working with a group of people with different backgrounds really made me feel the interdisciplinary nature of the ZENITH consortium. I am really looking forward to returning to Claire’s lab to continue my research on the effects of Parkinson’s disease progression on zebrafish locomotion starting next year!