Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Angela Zordan

Date of news: 15 February 2022

Angela ZordanWhat's your name, nationality, current function, and department?
My name is Angela Zordan and I’m from Italy. I work in the department of Molecular Neurobiology in the group of Anne-Sophie Hafner.

What is the topic of your PhD project and how does your work look like in practice?
My PhD project investigates the role of presynaptic proteome remodeling in the expression and maintenance of long-term plasticity. It is divided in two independent axes: 1) impact of local translation in the presynaptic terminal on the fidelity of synaptic transmission and 2) unravelling cell type specific presynaptic transcriptomes.
To study that I use different microscopy techniques and subcellular compartment sorting combined with different omics approaches.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to find work that would have allowed me to live on the top of a mountain with a horse to ride. Didn’t went exactly as planned! :)

What has your career path been so far and how did you come to your current position?
I’ve started to be interested in Memory and Neuroscience when I was 17 thanks to an Italian journal about Mind and Brain. So when I had to choose my University I went first for Cognitive Science, and then for a Master in Cognitive Neuroscience. While I was studying that I realized that the cognitive level was not enough for me and that I wanted to move to projects that were more cellular and molecular oriented. For that reason I choose to do my Master Thesis at the Josselyn-Frankland lab in Toronto, that gave me the basics to apply for a PhD in this field. And now here I am!

What aspect of your job is or has been a challenge for you?
The change of the field is definitely a challenge. From Cognitive Neuroscience to Molecular Neuroscience there are some gaps of knowledge that I need to fill and sometimes that could be hard and stressful, and of course time consuming. But on the same time it’s also very exciting, many new things to learn that keep everything more interesting!

What does your perfect weekend look like?
I’m in love with mountains and I know that the Netherlands is not the perfect country for that passion but that doesn’t change that my perfect weekend would be trekking on the top of some mountain on Saturday and a relaxing Sunday to recharge!

What is the most important advice you want to share with Donders PhD candidates?
It is good to have a passion that can also be your job, like Neuroscience in my case, but there are also other things in life that are worthy to be enjoyed. So work hard but do not forget to live!!