Scientist or communicator: Part I – scientific initiation

13 April 2020

postdoctoral research

Blog by Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves, Ph.D.

Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves is a scientific researcher at Erasmus Medical Center and she will write about her experiences in the medical sciences area. In this first blog, Fabiany will give you an insight into how she started her scientific career.

I have been working for years in hospitals with basic science research. Every year, I am plagued by the same question from family and friends: what exactly are you doing? In the past, I have answered this question by attempting to explain my thesis research based on complex scientific concepts. Nowadays, my approach involves translating basic science research into clinical application.

This translation became an even greater challenge for me. How could I explain the reasons for my cell culture experiments in the laboratory to an audience without prior knowledge of basic sciences? I have been turning complex science subjects into simpler topics so that the public can understand the importance of basic science to the treatment of several diseases.

My scientific research career started during my undergraduate studies when I had the opportunity to join different laboratories. Initially, I had my own scientific initiation project where I was able to work with bone grafts associated with adult stem cell therapy.

One of the challenges of bone transplantation is to improve the vascularisation of the graft; in other words, it is essential for successful transplant to stimulate blood vessels to grow throughout the graft. In this project, we created a technique that allows higher adherence of stem cells to the graft and consequently greater bone healing.

From a basic science point of view, designing future therapies depends on improved knowledge of the immunological, molecular and cellular processes that operate at different phases of bone injury. From a clinical point of view, this new method may be applied for cell therapy associated with bone grafts to enhance bone repair surgery.

Bringing basic science closer to clinical application and simplifying complex information is one of the challenges for scientists to make science understandable and accessible to everyone. Have you been trying it?

Thank you Fabiany for sharing your insights about your career as a scientific researcher within the medical science! In the next blog (Part II – Master´s and Ph.D. in medical science), Fabiany will report her experiences during the Master’s and Doctorate and how important it was to develop the communication skills during her career. Stay tuned!

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