I am a neuroscientist and my research focus lies in the field of spinal cord injury. I am an electrophysiologist and trained animal surgeon. Regaining function after spinal cord injury is one of the highest priorities for injured patients, for improving quality of life. Knowing that I am part of a team that is trying to help these injured patients regain their independence is such a great motivation for me. Neuroscience and the mysteries behind the marvel that is the human brain, along with my innate curiosity is what lead me to pursue this career path.
You recently founded R.E.A.L. Science, a platform aiming at improving the educational opportunities and giving career advice to Greek students. Which are its aims and what inspired you to launch the organization?
R.E.A.L. Science is an initiative build by volunteers to bring science, and other career paths, in the classroom. To make science a R.E.A.L. (realistic, explained and applied to life) endeavor for the students and bring it to life out of the pages of their schoolbooks. Our platform is designed to help teachers with career advice and accommodates ages from 14 to 17 years old. Our professional volunteers strive to inspire students by sharing their stories and experiences and answering questions regarding their professions.
Through our initiative, we want to eliminate the distance and bring Greek students from all over the country in touch with incredible Greek professionals and scientists from all over the world. Also, we are trying to break down the stereotype that science is only a right choice for men by showcasing amazing female professionals and scientists. R.E.A.L. Science can give students the opportunity to find out more about a field they are interested in and to learn how they can navigate their future academic steps to get there.
My dream is to make R.E.A.L. science a platform where scientists (and others) can inspire and guide younger generations to follow in their footsteps and DO BETTTER! This is an initiative designed for scientists/professionals to volunteer their time and give back to the community.
For scientists and professionals interested in joining this great initiative, what are the options to contribute?
After receiving a lot of requests from teachers and educators R.E.A.L. science has now opened its doors to all career fields (scientists, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, lawyers etc.). For anyone who would like to participate as a volunteer please fill out the form here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mZIAyBNlKKsWqCQLj_1F0Clu8aMdlXSMaWmDhjmDQeU/edit and we will get in touch with you.
You currently serve as a mentor on Women on top and on Greek Women In STEM. Which are the reasons you got involved? ).
I truly believe that sharing your experiences with the younger generations, either through one to one mentorship such as these amazing initiatives or through platforms like R.E.A.L. Science, is an incredible way to guide younger people by inspiring them to pursue their dreams and passions at the same time while helping them to realize their skill and reach their full potential.
Also, giving back to the community has always been very important to me since I was blessed with amazing mentors that helped me along the way to get to where I am today.
I would like to thank HBA-USA for the opportunity to showcase our work with R.E.A.L. Science.
Interviewed by Chara Koutsioumpa, Ph.D. candidate, Harvard Medical School