Researcher biography

The brain is one of the most sophisticated machinery of nature, but sometimes it can work awfully wrong. I am interested to understand the processes of neurodegeneration and brain ageing, with a focus on the role played by brain's resident immune cells, the microglia.

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 authored articles in Frontiers in Neuroscience (2015), Journal of Neurochemistry (2016) and Aging Cell (2017).

Currently, I am using in vitro models (stable cell lines, primary microglial and neuronal cultures) and in vivo models, in combination with biochemical and molecular techniques ranging from imaging to functional pathway analysis and gene editing to pursue my research goals.