Dr Mizuki Morisaki
Place of work / study:
University of St Andrews (soon to be University of Bristol)
Area of Research:
My PhD focused on how “stress” affects ageing in the brain particularly in the hippocampus using in vitro/in vivo models. I worked with neurons on the dish as well as birds flying in the aviary! Now my research is more focusing on the in vitro model using neurons as well as microglia.
How is your work funded?
My work is currently funded by Scottish Neurological Research Fund.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I graduated from the University of St Andrews this summer with a PhD in Neuroscience and now working in the same school as a Research Fellow. My main research interest is ageing in the brain, and particularly I’m interested in investigating how “healthy” ageing differ from “pathological” ageing.
During the pandemic, my best hobby outside of academia became taking a walk in the beautiful (but bit wet) beach facing North Sea and making bread.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I can sleep anywhere – one time I woke up in a half-flooded tent (there was heavy rain during the night which I did not wake up).
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
I grew up in a very small village in Japan where my father who is in 60s is considered to be “young”. I think my case is bit of extreme case, but the world population is rapidly ageing, and I do feel healthy ageing is very important.
Ageing is the biggest risk factor for dementia, but it is very different from healthy ageing, and yet we do not know its exact mechanism or have effective cure. This is how I became interested in this field of research.
What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?
This is something I would love to hear from others as I desperately need one!
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I initially started reading this for teaching my literature class, but I actually started enjoying myself – I do recommend it!