Introducing Alexandra Abromeit
Alexandra Abromeit, PhD candidate
WP1 – Animal studies: pathogenic processes and critical time windows
University of Groningen (RUG)
Can you explain your research and role in CANDY in 2 sentences?
My research project aims to examine the underlying neurobiological mechanisms behind alterations in sensory processing in autism. In order to achieve this, I am using genetically-altered mice to analyze their sensory phenotype and different protein pathways in their brains.
What do your friends and family think what you are doing in the lab?
I think they know pretty well what I am doing – different behavioral tests with living mice and analyzing their brains in the lab.
What are you really doing most of your work time?
Planning experiments and resources around them takes a lot of time, but also reading papers, supervising students and attending all kinds of meetings related to my project.
What’s your favourite and / or least favourite task in the lab?
My favorite task is definitely looking at the results – finally getting closer to answering questions is always exciting. My least favorite task is definitely sacrificing animals to collect the tissue we need for the brain analyses.
Why you have chosen to work in the field of neurodevelopmental conditions?
Already during my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, I was very interested in affective disorders and the broad field of psychiatric disorders in general – and that’s what I wanted to keep investigating in my PhD. Finding a project related to autism as neurodevelopmental condition was a new twist for me but definitely very interesting.
Why does your research matter to the average citizen/man on the street?
Most people probably know at least one autistic person in their broader environment. I think that relating my research to what people see in their daily life can definitely make them understand why it is relevant.
What is your personal highlight in CANDY up to now?
Meeting everyone in person for the first time at the CANDY meeting in Lisbon 😊
Which publication or researcher influenced you most?
I think Prof. Chadi Touma, who guided my through both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree had quite a lot if influence on me and the development of my interests. But it is really hard to say because there are so many amazing researchers doing incredible work out there.
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Mac or PC? PC
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Mountain or sea? That’s a tough one… if I HAVE to choose, then sea.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside the lab?
Spending time with my loved ones, going for a motorcycle ride, and bouldering/climbing.
How does your perfect day-off looks like?
Waking up without an alarm clock, seeing the sun in the sky when I open the curtains and having a relaxed breakfast on the balcony with my boyfriend. Going for a ride on my motorcycle and bouldering are also definitely on the list for a perfect day 😊
Best recent series or movie or novel?
TV series: Suits, Vikings
Movie: Not really recent, but still awesome: most Marvel movies
Book: Also not recent, but it will always be one of my favorite series: Harry Potter.