Sara Pischedda

Sara Pischedda

Geneticist

"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought"

- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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I am from Italy and I have lived in Spain since 2016. I have a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics, both obtained in the University of Pavia (Italia) in 2013 and 2015 respectively, Recently I have obtained a PhD in Molecular Medicine in the University of Santiago de Compostela.

In 2012 I started working in a research laboratory of Human Genetics, where I had my first experience with the basic techniques for the manipulation of nucleic acid, PCR and sequencing. During this period of research experience, lasted almost three years, I started to be more aware and conscious about the scientific world and its different aspects and fields. Moved by the curiosity to put into practice what I have learnt in the laboratory, in the last year of my master’s, I carried out an Erasmus placement in Santiago de Compostela, where I collaborate in a project of population genetics in a laboratory of forensic genetics directed by the professor Antonio Salas. In 2016 after finishing my master’s, I came back to Santiago de Compostela where I had the possibility to work firstly, as laboratory technician and then, as Biologist in the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela. During these years I joined the research group GenPOB (Genética de poblaciones en Biomedicina) with which I continue collaborating at several projects sharing my experiences with a multidisciplinary and professional people.

In 2018 I received a scholarship for a PhD in Molecular Medicine that I concluded in July of 2021. My thesis project, supervised by Prof. Federico Martinón and Prof. Antonio Salas, focused on the study of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and on the epigenetic changes provoked in the host during and after the infection. In order to increase and improve my experience in data analysis and in the field of epigenomics, from September to December 2019 I moved to Oxford for a short placement thanks to which I had the opportunity to work with an excellent group, expert in vaccines and infectious diseases.

When I started my research career, I was absorbed by a plethora of doubts. It was not an easy choice following this carer, it happened often that I was not sure about what I was doing, I didn’t know if I really liked my job and I feel frustrated about this, but as soon as I started working at my thesis project, at the exact moment on which I begun to study and to enter the world of Epigenomics, it is there that I realized that this was exactly what I meant when I said “research”, and at the moment this is what I want to do all my life. Be part of this group is a great opportunity for me, to share ideas, to grow up as researcher and to learn as person. Here, I can collaborate at different National and European Projects, and I have the opportunity to compare myself with great researchers, people who have and continue making their mark for their discoveries and their work and I can only be honored to follow their excellent example.

Nowadays Epigenomics is becoming my daily food; this exciting new field let me to understand how environmental and external factors can interact with our genome, changing the way genes express and behave. It is incredible to think that through this study we can take the control and deal with these factors, to deal with our health and genetic destiny.

Publications within the group