2018-2019 Board : Ludovic Spaeth, deputy secretary

Time for our deputy secretary’s interview, Ludovic Spaeth.

  • Name:  Ludovic Spaeth
  • Your position in Doctoneuro:  Deputy Secretary (at least, I think)
  • Your academic path: 

Classic: licence and master’s in biology at the University of Strasbourg, specialized in in cellular neuroscience. Ah, I took a class in modeling clay in pre-school, that’s important.

  • What are you currently doing?

Most of my days (and sometimes most of my nights) are spent preparing a PhD, in Philippe Isope’s lab at the INCI.  I’m studying how adaptation to movement can lead to re-organization of  neuronal micro-networks in the cerebellar cortex, and vice versa. Which just shows that the cerebellum’s function is not just to balance the head, even if sceptics don’t agree. 

  • What brought you here in biology and more specifically neuroscience?

To some, the answer to that question comes very early on, with precocious curiosity and interest : « the brain, craddle of consiousness, has always fascinated me, since I was a child »…  Yeah, ok… In my case, it was somewhat less lyrical.  At first, I wanted to be a doctor, because at least, being unhappy, I’d rather cry in my Porsche with leather turbo finishing than on my bike. A stinging defeat in that domain lead me to biology, and more specifically, research. I had to choose a master’s specialty to achieve that. I’ve always been a homebody, and proud of my native land Alsace, so I decided to stay in Strasbourg, which narrowed down the specialities: immunology? Yeah, nah…  Virology? That’s for hipsters… Plants? Ahah, I don’t think so, I’d rather have a job someday. How about neuro ? Let’s do it! In my second year, I met my current thesis advisor and it’s my his side that I had the privilege to see for the first time, the electrical activity of the most beautiful neuron in the brain, a.k.a the Purkinje Cell. I was hooked.

  • What do you want to do later and why?

Ideally, I would like to be a titular researcher , somewhere. I’m finishing my PhD this year, and after that, I’ll fly off to the next adventure for my post-doc and try to find a position in a lab.  With the current state of things and the socio-economic context that’s gnawing at French research, I am actually thinking about dropping everything and breeding goats, a career with a lot of possibilities and sensations.

  • What brought you to invest yourself in Doctoneuro?

Well, there was light, so I entered and the people were really cool, so I stayed.

  • What are your projects and goals as a board member?

Well, I would like to start by playing my part as deputy secretary. It could be easy but Guillaume (our secretary) is doing an impeccable and irreproachable job of it.  So I have a lot of time to try and facilitate integration of non-french speakers into our association (and something tells me that this year, it’s going to work). The cherry on the cake would be to developp tools that would allow students in neuroscience to access programming training, which had become, in my opinion, essential to lead quality research.

  • Any last words or advice you would like to give Master students joining the community, or other PhD students?

Don’t panic Monique, things aren’t as critical as on the Titanic!

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