Researcher biography

My research focuses on understanding the aetiology and progression of neurodegeneration and pathological ageing, as well as investigating the role played by the brain's resident immune cells, the microglia, in these processes. Thus, my work can be applied for designing improved treatment strategies against age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

I have completed my Bachelor studies in biochemistry in 2006, followed by a Masters program in biochemistry and molecular biology finalised in 2008 (both at the University of Bucharest, Romania). During this period, I was awarded an ERASMUS scholarship (2006/2007) to pursue my Masters training at the Centre of Molecular Biotechnology (CEMBIO), University of Bonn, Germany. In 2014, I was awarded my Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D. equivalent) title with the distinction magna cum laude from the University of Bonn, Germany. My doctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Harald Neumann led to co-first and first author papers published in Cell (2013) and Journal of Neuroscience (2014), respectively. In 2014, after being awarded the Peter Hilton Postdoctoral Early Career Research Fellowship at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) under the mentorship of Prof. Jürgen Götz, I relocated to Brisbane (Australia). Here, I continued to pursue my scientific interests in the field of neurodegeneration, expanding my knowledge on different cell and mouse models, with first author articles in Frontiers in Neuroscience (2015) and Journal of Neurochemistry (2016) and Aging Cell (2017).

I am well trained in using both in vitro models (stable cell lines, primary microglial and neuronal cultures) and in vivo models, and I have expertise in a broad range of biochemical and molecular techniques ranging from imaging to functional pathway analysis and genomics.