- Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and moved to Lethbridge, Alberta when I was 12 yrs old. I completed my undergraduate and and MSc. degrees at the university of Lethbridge with Dr. Bryan Kolb. I received my PhD from the University of Alberta with Dr. Fred Colbourne, and have been a postdoc in Dr. Tim Murphy’s lab at UBC since 2011.
- What compelled you to pursue stroke research?
I developed a strong interest in brain plasticity during my studies at the university of Lethbridge. By coincidence, I also started working on a stroke project and I became fascinated by the process of stroke recovery and the role brain plasticity plays in recovery. Since that time I’ve continued to work in this promising field and find motivation in the possibility of augmenting brain plasticity to improve stroke recovery.
- What is the focus of your research?
I currently work on using optogenetic tools to assess stroke recovery in mouse models of ischemia. We use optogenetic stimulation to map out remaining motor regions after focal ischemia, and we also use functional imaging tools to examine how the cortex reorganizes after various forms of injury.
- At what stage are you in your research, and what are your current future plans?
I am a senior post-doctoral fellow and hope to establish my independent research lab.
- How do you and others benefit from being part of the National Trainee Association?
I think the NTA provides a unique opportunity for stroke trainees from across the country to communicate with each other, leading to more opportunities for collaboration and a better understanding of the stroke research being carried out in Canada.
- What other interests do you have?
I spend most of my free time right now with my young family. We have a 7 month old daughter, Ada and a 2 year old son, Zoli. We enjoy visiting all the beautiful parks and beaches around Vancouver either on foot or on bicycles.