Andrea Tóth, PostDoc01. March 2018
What motivated you to become a scientist?
As a child, I was a big fan of the American science fiction television series “The X-Files”. I was fascinated by the way Agent Scully diligently investigated and provided a scientific explanation for the seemingly unexplainable phenomena on the show, using biological investigation methods and techniques. Agent Scully, and perhaps moreover Dr. Anne Simon, a researcher at the University of Maryland and the science advisor behind the fiction, impressed me both consciously and unconsciously with ‘the mind-set of a scientific researcher: questioning everything and attempting to reconcile facts in order to come up with theories`. Looking back now, I know agent Scully’s character was not actually a fiction, but the life of a real scientist, my life.
How did you end up doing what you do today?
Naturally, it took long years of hard work. After school, I spent my free time preparing for competitions in natural sciences. My desire to broaden my knowledge constantly was fuelled and supported by my mother, by my excellent chemistry teacher in elementary school, and by my private German tutor. Without their continuous support and inspiration, I wouldn't have become the scientist I am today. By the end of high school, it had become crystal clear that I would apply for the biologist training programs at the universities. During my time at university, I was especially interested in life sciences and neurobiology. My interest perfectly matched with the research topics of Dr. Maria A. Deli`s laboratory; the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This area was a good fit for me because the field does not limit my investigation strictly to neurons. In Maria, I found a great mentor and role model who helped me to obtain my PhD through investigation of preventive agents for BBB pathologies.
What are you working on at the moment?
After my PhD, I wanted to continue exploring deeper areas of BBB research, but at the same time stay closely related to drug discovery/development. That's how I found Morten S. Nielsen`s laboratory in Aarhus. Here I have investigated and compared the endo-lysosomal system in different in vitro BBB models. My current research is focused on the investigation of specific receptors in brain endothelial cells, which have the potential to mediate transcytosis of nanocarriers and antibodies. Our laboratory aims to understand the receptor-mediated transcytosis mechanism in detail in order to select the optimal receptor system for drug delivery to the brain.
What do you think the most exciting thing about being a scientist is?
Being a scientist means living a dream life, by investigating and explaining the unknown and making a great contribution to our current understanding of life.
What do you do when you are not working?
I spend most of my free time studying Danish and exploring the Northern countries.
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