Tanita Tzotzolaki

Throughout my studies, I have been exposed to numerous scientific fields including neuroscience, pharmacology, immunology and regenerative medicine, whilst gaining experience in diverse laboratory environments. Thanks to the diversity of my undergraduate degree in neuroscience and postgraduate degree in biomedical sciences, I have come to appreciate the need to tackle science using a multidimensional and multiscientific approach. Through these experiences, I have realised that I am particularly drawn to pursuing a career that focuses on the thorough understanding of neurodegeneration and ultimately translating my research into therapeutic approaches with the use of pharmacological agents and potentially stem cell therapies. What strikes me the most with neurodegenerative diseases is the complexity of networks and genes that contribute to numerous phenotypes for which there continues to be a lack of treatments despite the prevalence of such conditions in our aging population.

The ZENITH program offers the unique opportunity to collaborate and train with scientists whose backgrounds are not only in neuroscience, but also physics, mathematics and computer science. I strongly believe that a multidisciplinary approach is vital to successfully study the complexity of the brain. The opportunity to gain experience in two laboratories with different expertise is also an incredible aspect of this program. My opinion is that science is all about collaborations! As far as the animal model is concerned relative to my research goals, I consider zebrafish to represent a pioneering means to study the genetic contribution of neurodegenerative diseases and offer tremendous advantages for translational research into therapies. Finally, having already worked in laboratories both in Europe and in Asia, I am extremely drawn to the concept of conducting my research within the premises of a biotechnology company and discovering the scientific world from a different point of view.