The zebrafish is an organism widely used in science for its optical transparency during embryogenesis and its high similarity with the human genome (we share 80% of the DNA). In the third episode of ‘Absolutos y Relativos‘, the popular science podcast in Spanish of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), we meet Queralt Tolosa, a PhD student in the Cell and Tissue Dynamics laboratory of the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), where they combine biology and physics to study the embryonic development of this fish.
Although there have traditionally been many studies that analyze the molecules involved in development, studies on cell mechanics and contractility are scarcer. That is why in the multidisciplinary laboratory where Queralt works, they focus on understanding what physical parameters are involved in this process and how this affects the cells of zebrafish embryos.
Queralt is in the fourth year of her PhD, which she faces with enthusiasm and clear limits: “I try not to let what happens to me at work accompany me home”. But she claims that “system expectations have an influence on the frustration of researchers” and more specifically on doctoral students, who are more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety or depression.
In this episode we will also learn about Queralt’s personal experiences that make her affirm that “sexism starts when you begin your scientific career” and how she faces frustration in her day to day life.
Listen to her, it’s worth it!