Introducing Alejandro Rivera-Olvera
Alejandro Rivera-Olvera, PhD candidate
Radboudumc and Donders Institute for Brain, Nijmegen
Can you explain your research and role in CANDY in 2 sentences?
My research seeks to obtain detailed mechanistic insights and explore the multivariate (i.e. molecular, behavioral, and brain connectivity) mechanisms implicated in autism spectrum conditions to better understand the complexities of this condition.
What do your friends and family think what you are doing in the lab?
They feel proud and more curious about the autism research.
What are you really doing most of your work time?
Testing my animals (a mouse model of autism) in different behavioural tasks relevant for autism research.
What’s your favourite and/or least favourite task in the lab?
My favourite task is performing the behavioral testing on my animals and see in real time some behavioral differences, while my least favourite is doing the different daily bureaucratic tasks the requires the PhD.
Why you have chosen to work in the field of neurodevelopmental conditions?
I chose to work in the field of neurodevelopmental neuroscience because I find conditions like autism and ADHD fascinating. Neurodiverse individuals offer valuable insights into how the brain works through their unique experiences.
My focus is on animal research, specifically using a mouse model of autism, to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms and ultimately contribute to advancements in our understanding and treatment of these conditions.
Why does your research/work matter to the average citizen/man on the street?
I think this question can be answered with the previous response.
What is your personal highlight in CANDY up to now?
The GA Meetings because thanks to that, I have been able to meet my colleagues, share thoughts, knowledge, discuss ideas, and enjoy knowing more about all the research done in the consortium.
Which publication or researcher influenced you most?
Susumu Tonegawa, a neuroscientist working in the field of cellular and neuronal basis of memory formation and retrieval who won the Nobel prize for his work in genetics, I think in the future he will win a second Nobel Prize
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Mac or PC? Always Mac
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Mountain or sea? Mountain
What’s your favourite thing to do outside the lab?
Going to the movies with my friends or enjoy a nice coffee with a colleague or a friend.
How does your perfect day-off looks like?
Exploring a new city, or enjoying a coffee in a nice café in town followed by watching a movie and seeing some friends for dinner.
Best recent series or movie or novel?
TV series: “Succession”