2018-2019 Board : Clémence Giéré, deputy treasurer

Here’s our deputy treasurer’s interview, Clémence Giéré!

  • Name: Clémence Giéré
  • Your position in Doctoneuro: deputy treasurer
  • Your academic path: 

To be original, I started by failing the first year of medical studies PACES twice (always go all in, until the end…except studying the PACES), then I hesitated  between psychology and biology, but the attraction to « hard sciences » took over and I integrated the first year of the Life Sciences undergraduate degree.  After a first year without really figuring out what I wanted to do (I didn’t know what I didn’t like), it’s a neuroscience class during the second year that made me see the light. After I got my degree, I signed up in the neuroscience master’s.

  • What are you currently doing?

I’m currently doing my M2 internship at the INCI, where I’m recording neuronal activity in the spinal cord in response to painful stimuli in an animal model of prematurity.  It sounds really cool, but in reality, it’s staying 8 hours in a room, listening to static noise. But when it works, it’s awesome!

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

Once I got my scientific baccalaureate, with a somewhat undefined idea for my orientation apart from big schools ou medical studies, I wasn’t really aware of all the possiblities for my post-bac. So I started with medical studies, and quickly realized that I wasn’t built to absorb information until I imploded, all of that to simply mechanically spill it out at a multiple choice exam.  I followed the flow a second time and signed up in biology, and found out I really liked this field, especially how the way of working and thinking. After the first neuro classes in the 2nd year, I started to truly get interested , because I find it fascinating that everything we are, feel and think results from electrical influx in a few cells in some soft tissue contained in a bone box. I also appreciate the fact that we are trying to understand, with our brain, how our brain work.

  • What do you want to do later and why?

I barely know what I’ll be eating tomorrow, si I can’t even imagine in 5 years. To be honest, I have a few ideas but I think we shouldn’t try to close any doors, and continue to look for opportunities but also let them come.  I would like to try my hand at teaching, to pass on what I’ve learned and share what I love to the next generations.  Also, if I have the opportunity to live abroad, scientific research being an international field of work, I’ll gladly take it. I keep this plan tucked in my hippocampus, between a few granular and pyramidal cells.

  • What brought you to invest yourself in Doctoneuro?

Since my first year in biology, I’ve always been part of an association and to be honest, I don’t know what I would do with my spare time if I weren’t.  I’ve always loved the idea of participating in student life, offering different services to help people feel good on their campus and in their chosen studies.  Joining Doctoneuro was a no-brainer!” 

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

For me, the goal of our association is to create a solid relationship between students, who represent the future of neuroscience, and researchers but also to share our knowledge and our passion, with different scientific animation projects.  This means that we need to communicate to the public, with scientific vulgarisation.  It’s very ambitious and we need our great team, a good atmosphere and a lot of crappy jokes. 

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

I don’t think I’m in a position to give any advice, it would feel a bit pretentious since I haven’t even finished my master’s.  Like every academic and non-academic path, there are some hard, formative and wonderful moments and all are to be experienced, so stay open and enjoy the ride.


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!

2018-2019 Board : Guillaume Vanotti, Secretary

Here is Guillaume Vanotti’s interview !

  • Name: Guillaume Vanotti
  • Your position in  the association Doctoneuro: general secretary
  • Your academic path :

–  2013 Scientific baccalauréate with honors at the Lycée Julie Daubié in ROMBAS
Option and speciality: Life and Earth Sciences

–  2013-15 DUT (University and Technology Diploma) biology and health with honors  at  the IUT Nancy-Brabois inVANDOEUVRE-LES-NANCY
Speciality: Biological and Biochemical analysis

–  2015-16 Licence 3  of Life Sciences at the Faculté des Sciences de la Vie in STRASBOURG
Path: Cellular biology and physiology of organisms

–  2016-18 Neuroscience master with honors at the Life Science Faculty in STRASBOURG
Path: Cognitive neuroscience (NCO)

  • What are you are currently doing ? 

Since 2018, I am doing a PhD in neuroscience at the INCI (Institute of cellular and integrated neuroscience CNRS UPR 3223. I am enrolled at the Doctoral school of Life Sciences ED414 in Strasbourg.
I’m studying the impact of chronic jetlag on the sleep-wake cycle (caused by school or work hours for example) on physiology and behavior.

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

Like a lot of people, I grew up watching TV shows like « C’est pas sorcier » («It’s not witchcraft»), «Il était une fois la vie» («Once upon a time, there was life»), the Planet Channel.  I quickly understood that I wanted to be a scientist.  I liked biology a lot and I wanted to know more about the human body, so I decided to do a DUT (University and Technology Diploma) in Biology and Health.  Always with a view on understanding more about human physiology, I integrated the 3rd year of licence (undergraduate degree) in Strasbourg, than a masters’, then a PhD in neuroscience to learn more, but also to actively participate in the research effort in the field.

  • What do you want to do later and why?

I’m giving myself the PhD to try and make my own opinion about research.  I’m interested in research for the moment, but the PhD opens quite a few doors that could also interest me. 

  • What brought you to invest yourself in Doctoneuro?  

I discovered the association with the Theatre Porject.  The board at the time had proposed that M1s organize the future M1s first day.  It was my first assocative experience and I really like it, learning to manage events.  The association was looking for someone to take over the communication front and it was the opportunity for me to invest myself and developp skills as communication vice-president, then as secretary, skills that can be useful in my professionnal and personnal life. 

  • What are your projects, your goals as a board member of Doctoneuro?

I don’t have specific goals, except making sure that each pole of activity can function properly.  I take care of the adhesion lists, the paper archives, I facilitate access to online documents, I write down all discussions and decisions.  My job also consists of heliping out, if it’s needed.

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

If I have any advice  to give to M1s: arriving in the master’s program is hard, but the first semester doesn’t adequately represent the 2 years.  You have 3 other semesters to flourish in neuroscience, and each at your own rythm.

2018-2019 Board : Léa Becker, Vice-chairwoman

It’s time for our deputy chairwoman’s interview: Léa Becker! 

  • Name: Léa Becker
  • Your position at Doctoneuro: Vice-chairwoman
  • Your academic path: My story starts in kindergarten. Everything was going well until I had to learn how to tie my shoelaces… Oh is this too much information? Did I start too far back? Sorry!Let’s focus on my science career. After my baccalaureate, I directly started a bachelor degree at the faculty of biology of Strasbourg, where I stayed until my master’s degree, in Cellular and Integrated Neuroscience (all of this without knowing how to tie my shoelaces!).

Continue reading “2018-2019 Board : Léa Becker, Vice-chairwoman”