After receiving a Master’s of Molecular Biology at the University of Queesnland with my project “Developing biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles to enhance the therapeutic effect of an anti-inflammatory peptide”, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for one year. Since 2021, I have been passionate about brain energy metabolism specifically in epilepsy. As there are many knowledge gaps in this field, I believe that investigations into the alterations of glucose metabolism in epileptogenic brain areas will help to develop new anti seizure medications or other therapeutic options. I joined the lab of Associate Professor Karin Borges to work on my PhD about brain glucose metabolism in models of epilepsy. With the help of Karin, I have learned and mastered many essential techniques, including various seizure models, 13C-glucose metabolism, biomolecular analysis and quantitation of protein and mRNA levels, immunostaining and confocal imaging. We are also using glucose uptake and metabolism assays in cell cultures and brain slices. My knowledge in the pharmaceutical field (1) has been very helpful in many occasions when designing and interpreting new experiments as well as during discussions of research with other lab members and Karin. I really enjoy our collaborations with other experts, including Metabolomics Australia, Nela Durisic and Gerald A Dienel, which have helped me to achieve the first aims of my PhD project.

I published my first paper in 2022 (2), in which I investigated the potential anticonvulsant effects of glyceryl triacetate. Although glyceryl acetate increased brain acetate levels, I could not find any protective effects against seizures in two models. However, the potential anticonvulsant effects of glyceryl acetate need to be further investigated in other models.

In October of 2022, I received a travel scholarship to the USA  for an oral and poster presentation at the 14th International Conference of Brain Energy Metabolism, where I showed results of my studies about insulin signalling and glucose transporters in our model of epilepsy. Also, I presented a poster at Brain and Brain PET 2023 Symposium. All my work has been well received.