Neuroscience is a fascinating field and is included among the top scientific areas of research. Νeurodegenerative diseases are increasing and the latest scientific advances are a source of thrill and inspiration. I found neuroscience really attractive from the very early years in the Medical School and I wanted to serve this evolving groundbreaking field.
A truly exciting combination of medical fields are involved in stroke pathophysiology and dealing with stroke patients: Neurology, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, which are all in my interests. I believe that this combination boosts stroke science to an unprecedented amazing scientific area. In addition, stroke combines emergent incidents with a long palliative care, which both aspects of clinical care are really interesting to me. Taking also into consideration that the brain and cognition are the features that distinguish man from the animal kingdom, exploring brain function through stroke cannot leave anyone who loves neuroscience unmoved.
What have been the highs so far?
Starting my PhD studies in stroke science, publishing my work in prestigious journals, participating as a speaker in European Congresses, teaching of medical students, namely becoming a young member of the large community of stroke scientists fills me with a lot of gratification. Moreover, offering physical and mental comfort in chronic debilitating patients, such as stroke patients, is a priceless daily reward; definitely a source of happiness.
What have been the lows?
Too many hours of extra work has limited my leisure time for both myself and my beloved ones. Moreover, compassion is not always enough for your patient. Cure is demanded and you cannot always provide it.
How do you balance work life with the needs of home life?
With a huge amount of patience and understanding of my family! I try to spend quality time with those who I care. I also try every once in a while to do some sports as I was a former 100 metres sprinter. It really helps me to relax from work and devote myself to my family.
Who are your most important mentors and how did you find them?
Assistant Professor Dr Konstantinos Tzionalos, MD, PhD (AHEPA University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece) is the most important mentor in my short scientific career. Dr Tziomalos with a specialty in cardiovascular diseases and stroke was one of my professors in Internal Medicine during my studies in the Medical School. His hard work and passion for Medicine truly inspired me towards his medical field. Despite his young age he has a meritorious work to present and I am glad that I am part of his team since shortly after my graduation from the Medical School. Dr Tziomalos, a really talented clinician, is one of the three-member committee of my PhD studies and our excellent collaboration has grown me as a researcher. He is the first who believed and recognized my potentials as a clinician and a researcher and gave me the opportunity to develop my skills. I am really lucky and grateful for this collaboration!
What are your most important collaborations and how have you built them?It is quite difficult to answer this question as I am in the very start of my scientific career. However, I am tremendously privileged to have met in person the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Medicine Sir John Gurdon for his contribution to the field of cell reprogramming. Through my involvement with stroke research I was selected to participate in the Biology and Medicine Seminar Lectures for young scientists held by the Bodossakis Foundation in 2012 where Sir John Gurdon was an invited speaker. I had the opportunity to discuss with him about my scientific work and interests and get his valuable advice. Definitely not a collaboration but the best is yet to come!