Dr Martina Bocchetta
Senior Research Fellow
Place of work / study:
Dementia Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London
Area of Research:
I am currently investigating the volumetry of subcortical structures in the brain and how they are structurally and functionally connected in the different forms of frontotemporal dementia. My final goal is to improve our understanding of this heterogenous disease, by measuring when frontotemporal dementia starts in the brain and how it progresses over time. This will be crucial to help in developing a cure, by measuring whether new drugs are effective in slowing down the progression of dementia.
How is your work funded:
I was recently awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Fellowship.
Tell us a little about yourself:
My background is in neuroimaging and neuroanatomy, applied first in Alzheimer’s disease and then in frontotemporal dementia. I studied biological psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Padua (Italy). After my PhD in Neuroscience in Brescia (Italy), I moved to UCL, where I am currently working with Dr. Rohrer. Previously I collaborated as a Research Assistant with the Fatebenefratelli Institute in Brescia (Italy). I am a STEM Ambassador and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
My life is centred around islands: my family is from Sardinia, I moved to Great Britain and I married a Maltese!
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
I was first exposed to dementia during an internship whist I was still an undergraduate student. This experience in a neuroimaging research laboratory, working closely with a memory clinic, was truly inspiring for me, as I witnessed the impact of this terrible disease on patients and their families. I have since never left this field as I realised the potential of research to better understand the different forms of dementia, and improve the lives of so many people affected by it.