Sabrina Ghadaouia Postdoctoral Research Associate
Ever since I started studying biology, I have been fascinated by the mechanisms that regulate all the processes that allow life to exist. I completed my undergraduate degree in Paris, at the University Pierre et Marie Curie, where I did a short summer placement with Sophie Louvée-Vallet in Michel Gho’s team, on endoreplication of drosophila salivary glands. This first experience confirmed my career choice, and I pursued my research training.
For my master’s I moved to the University of Montreal in Canada, where I had my very own first research project. I joined the lab of Dr Francis Rodier, who studies the mechanisms of DNA damage repair in normal and cancer cells at the Montreal Cancer Institute (ICM), with is part of the CRCHUM (Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal). My project focused on telomeric damages on young and aging cells, uncovering that these damages can be tolerated by normal cells, increasing the risks of developing mutations or cancer.
I then moved to The University of Manchester (UK) for my PhD training, where I joined the Wellcome Trust programme. Supervised by Shane Herbert and Christoph Ballestrem, I studied asymmetric cell division in endothelial cells. My project combined live imaging of blood vessel formation in zebrafish embryos (in vivo) and microfabricated assays with human endothelial cells (in vitro). By combining these two methods, this project highlighted the importance of the microenvironment in the control of cell shape and cell division.
As a postdoc in Binyam’s lab, I am getting the best of both worlds: I am combining the expertise I acquired during my master’s and my PhD to study DNA damage response during meiosis in oocytes. This fascinating work has the potential to bring great insight on the mechanisms underlying age-related female infertility. Working with Binyam and his team is an amazing opportunity to gather more skills and knowledge, continuing my life-long passion for biology.