Profile – Dr Soraya Meftah, The University of Edinburgh

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Dr Soraya Meftah

Job title:

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Place of work / study:

UK Dementia Research Institute, The University of Edinburgh

Area of Research:

Neurophysiology of dementia (synaptic, neuronal, network dysfunction).

How is your work funded?

UK Dementia Research Institute, Dyson Foundation, Race Against Dementia

Tell us a little about yourself:

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, I went to work for Eli Lilly & Co for a few years as a molecular biologist. During this time, I gained a real appreciation for pre-clinical research into neurodegenerative diseases and wanted to further pursue dementia research. Therefore, I undertook a PhD based at the University of Exeter and Bristol, characterising synaptic and neuronal dysfunction in a model of tauopathy using a combination of in vivo and in vitro techniques such as whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology. Following this, I started at the UKDRI based in Edinburgh to perform more work characterising and understanding neurophysiological dysfunction in dementia with Dr Jian Gan. I am currently working in the lab of Dr Claire Durrant, characterising human and rodent organotypic models of dementia using functional assays (i.e. neurophysiology).

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

Outside of work, I play field hockey (badly) and crochet (badly).

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

I don’t know if I chose to work in dementia or dementia chose me. I really enjoyed neuroscience as a topic throughout my life, I’ve always been interested in psychology and medical studies. Then whilst looking for jobs, I was quite lucky to end up working at Eli Lilly in neurodegenerative research. From that experience, I think I was really inspired and committed to try to understand how dementia affects the brain and what we can do to cure it.

What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?

Find your support network to help you through the more difficult research times when nothing is going right or when you don’t get that grant.

Can we find you on Twitter & Instagram?

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