- PhD in Biochemistry
- Original Country: Spain
- Laboratory:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- When: May 2010
Mikel Zaratiegui possesses a complex and rich personality. The first detail to strike me, when I met him at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is his pilosity, that I would describe as fluctuating. Depending on the swings of seasons, or his moods, he would grow his beard and hair, shave the one or the other, sometimes both. For this project, I asked for a thick beard. I don’t know if I am right or wrong, but I feel it gives him a kind of Charles Darwin look. That’s what I told him, and he seemed quite taken by this idea.
The high expectations of the management of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory regarding the recruitment and scientific achievements of its staff means that I have had the opportunity to meet lots of outstanding people there. Mikel Zaratiegui is clearly a member of this elite. Intelligent, curious, always eager for knowledge, he asks of himself and others a thousand questions a minute, with a keenness only matched by his modesty and profound humanity.
- Graduate Student
- Original Country: China
- Laboratory: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, USA
- When: December 2010
Xin Zhou was still a student when she came to sit for me. She arrived accompanied by one of her numerous fluffy animals. Considering the number of synthetically-stuffed friends she possesses, I sometime wonder if she doesn’t run a farm of them. They almost outnumber her collection of shoes! Do not let yourself be fooled by her angelic face, however. Xin is a strong-willed, driven, intelligent young woman. She precisely knows what she wants and does everything in her power to achieve her goals.
Curious of everything, she loves to travel and discover new horizons, for the geography as well as the human and culinary experience. Had she been born a century earlier, I think that she might have become an explorer or an ethnologist.
What Xin Zhou says about her own work:
"My PhD research is about a funky flatworm called Macrostomum lignano with amazing regeneration ability. I tried to understand how small RNA molecules regulate this ability. In the future I will be focused on fighting aging and age-related diseases."