I joined the BIM multidisciplinary degree (Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics), at the Faculty of Sciences of Luminy after one year of a preparatory school (veterinary and agronomy option), which I found too academic. I chose this course, which offers an original and integrated vision of biology.At the end of my first year at Luminy, I had the opportunity to do a one-month optional internship at IBDM (Lemaire team). This internship was my first encounter with the world of research and developmental biology. I had the chance to be assigned to a small project that I was “responsible” for (the article about it has been accepted, with me as co-author) and I enjoyed it very much. During the third year of the course, I had a part-time job in the same team as database annotator, reading scientific articles and entering data. These experiences, as well as being top of my class, led to me being accepted to “Ecole Normale Supérieur”. Two of my master courses were about developmental biology (including one in New York through my contacts with IBDM). I am currently working on identifying nucleotide signatures on active enhancers during animal development in the context of my thesis and I’m hoping to work on the evo-devo field.
I joined the institute as part of my DEA (M2) in which I had the opportunity to work in two wonderful and very complementary team, one being “launched” in recent years and the second having just started. My heart made me choose the second team in order to gain my PhD and a short post doc before leaving for new adventures. During my thesis things have not always been easy. Throughout our scientific maturation, we learn to make our own choices, to say no … There are tensions, and this is normal we grow, we learns, this is character building ! This allowed me to acquire concepts of management project (supervision of trainees ; helping team members) ; finance (trading orders ; looking for funding to attend meeting) and of course writing ! IBDM was a small “family” during these years, allowing me to achieve great personal and scientific interactions (I still cherish a strong friendship with some people from that time). The institute well, it’s science, but it’s also something else : managers, informatics staff, animal care personnel, etc… are always there to listen to you in an atmosphere of exchange and collaboration. Today I made the choice to leave public science to get a CDI in a clinical research institute but I am still building on my experiences from those years every single day.
I completed my PhD in 4 years at the IBDM, in the team of Pascale Durbec, under the supervision of Myriam Cayre. The 4 years I spent there were a pleasant mix of exciting challenges, rich human relationships and a complete education. The IBDM is part of these institutes defying the cliché which presents the French provincial science as being behind the international competition.The intellectual level, competitiveness and quality of technical platforms are all exemplary. For example, I was surprised to discover a much inferior microscopy platform during my post doctorate at The SCRIP Research Institute in California. Despite the lack of common space at IBDM, because of the architecture of the building, it’s an institute where one helps each other, collaborates and takes time to talk about science in the corridors. In addition, during my PhD, I received an excellent education, as in this team, students have the opportunity to be mentored, respected and stimulated! I received a rigorous supervision at the bench, and on project management. I had access to, and was encouraged to to take part in several external training programs, participate in many meetings and get involved in associative professional networks. These tools are today my major assets in my professional transition in the face of the crisis in researcher employment.
I have done my PhD in Bioinformatics at the IBDM from September 2005 to September 2009 under the supervision of Patrick Lemaire. As an EU citizen it was easy to move from Portugal to France, although there were still a few bureaucratic issues to deal with, such as trying to rent a house when you don’t have a french bank account! I chose IBDM first of all because of the project and the lab. Although there were not many bioinformaticians at IBDM at the time, there were other institutes on campus providing the expertise that I required. Moreover, being immersed within a biological setting, I could focus on the biological outcome of my research. During these years I grew scientifically and personally and I can honestly say they were among the best years of my life.