Gioele La Manno focuses on understanding how the cell types in the nervous system are made. He is particularly interested in describing the sequence of states that embryonic stem cells go through during their differentiation towards mature neurons in the central nervous system and the retina. Gioele is the first scholar of the program of the ELISIR program in 2018.
“It is an innovative initiative in Europe. We were sort of missing these very early group-leader positions. I have a feeling of belonging to the European scientific community and I think there is value in the way, in Europe, we do science and we think about science. The ELISIR is a great opportunity, personally speaking, because the objective of an academic career for a researcher is, after all, to gather a team and try to develop his or her ideas. And that is my goal as well.”
Martin Weigert focuses on machine-learning image based life sciences since December 2019 at EPFL.
“I am excited to be part of the ELISIR program and to be given the opportunity to start my own research group in the field of machine-learning based image analysis and computational microscopy at such an international and interdisciplinary place as the EPFL!”
Ana Marija Jakšić studies the evolution of the cognitive brain since May 2020 at EPFL.
“I have been thinking, even day-dreaming about the experimental evolution of the brain for a long time. Evolution experiments are always demanding, both in time, funding, and dedication. And if you add complex traits like cognition in the mix you can imagine only an established lab may have the opportunity to dive into a project like that. Even though I had the idea and the drive to do it, I expected it will take me years to get to a position where I’ll have freedom, environment, funding, and a team to start this project. Becoming an ELISIR scholar made it possible right now and advanced my research plans for years! I am thankful for this rare and exciting opportunity!”
Can Aztekin finished his PhD at the University of Cambridge and joined EPFL in early 2021 to study vertebrate limb regeneration.
“Science is a fertile activity: answering questions brings more questions, and the new questions may require an open mind, both for their inception and resolution. However, there is only a limited amount of time in a day, and not every question can be answered by using methodologies and perspectives from one discipline. Hence, being an ELISIR Scholar is a fantastic opportunity! Having my independent group means I have a team to help the projects progress faster, and working in EPFL, where new ideas and interdisciplinary studies are nurtured, empowers my group to uncover unknowns about nature in a time efficient manner with a broader perspective.”