Ph.D. (pharmacology) Katrina Räty is working in the Human Brain Disease Modelling Research Group (Lehtonen Lab) at the A.I. Virtanen Institute at the University of Eastern Finland. The research group focuses on revealing the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological diseases, especially Parkinson’s disease.
In 2011, Canadian-born Katrina came to Finland to study neuroscience in the international M.Sc program at the University of Helsinki. There she also defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “Modelling alpha-synuclein-based Parkinson’s disease and studies with CDNF” in 2019. “Then my opponent, Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini, offered me the postdoctoral researcher position in her lab at the University of Cambridge”, describes Katrina as the key steps of her journey as a young researcher.
In September 2021, Katrina continued her research at the University of Eastern Finland. The reason for choosing the UEF was clear for her: “Docent Šárka Lehtonen acted as reviewer in my dissertation. Therefore, I was aware of the excellent work she had performed with her group with stem cells and in developing novel human models for neurological diseases and drug development studies”. Now Katrina is starting her own project in the Lehtonen lab related to microglia and alpha-synuclein. ”My main interest is in making better preclinical models to find new treatments for Parkinson’s disease”, she concludes. To support local collaboration and networking Katrina is active in organizing the UEF Post Doctoral Society.
Human Brain Disease Modelling Research Group: https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/group/human-brain-disease-modelling-lehtonen-lab/ and https://sites.uef.fi/human-brain-disease-modelling-group/
YUFE Postdoctoral Programme’s appeal lies in career mentoring and collaboration possibilities: https://www.uef.fi/en/article/yufe-postdoctoral-programmes-appeal-lies-in-career-mentoring-and-collaboration-possibilities