Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
A: I was born in Romania but grew up in a small town east of Ottawa called Vankleek Hill. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University in 2014. Currently, I am pursuing my M.Sc. at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Dale Corbett.
Q: What compelled you to pursue stroke research?
A: I took several brain and behaviour courses throughout my undergraduate degree that exposed me to behavioural neuroscience. However, it wasn’t until I volunteered in Dr. Corbett’s lab that I was introduced to stroke research. Not only did I become fascinated by the brain’s ability to reorganize and repair itself following injury, but also by the different techniques that can be used to study the mechanisms through which it does so.
Q: What is the focus of your research?
A: My research focuses on studying preclinical recovery strategies in neonatal stroke. Using behavioural assessments and histological techniques, I am evaluating the therapeutic potential of pharmaceutical and rehabilitative strategies to promote motor and cognitive recovery in newborn stroke survivors.
Q: At what stage are you in your research, and what are your current future plans?
A: I just started my second year as a Master of Science student in Neuroscience at the University of Ottawa. Following the completion of my M.Sc., I am hoping to find a position where I can take my scientific background and apply it to a more business-oriented environment.
Q: How do you and others benefit from being part of the National Trainee Association?
A: The great thing about the CPSR National Trainee Association is that it brings together both basic science and clinical trainees from all over Canada. Through programs like the Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN) and Trainee Mentorship program, the NTA provides us with the opportunity to network with peers and senior researchers, while learning about the exciting research taking place in the CPSR.
Q: What other interests do you have?
A: I enjoy cross-country skiing and watching movies and Friends reruns. I am also part of the uOttawa Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Neuroscience Graduate Student Association.