Agata Grazia D'Amico
Tell us about yourself: what is your educational and academic background?
I began my academic journey at the Department of Drug Sciences in University of Catania where I gained Master Degree in 2010. Soon after I undertook my PhD studies in the context of international program in Neuropharmacology, and I carried out my laboratory activities at the Section of Human Anatomy and Histology. During last period of my PhD studies, I did a pre-doctoral experience at the Faculty of Medicine, in Semmelweis University of Budapest, where I acquired whole cell voltage clamp method. Three years later I discussed my doctoral thesis entitled “Role of Dopamine D3 receptor in the regulation of memory related genes”. I continued my studies as a post-doctoral fellow at the Section of Human Anatomy and Histology of Catania in the context of the industrial research project for the “Identification of biological markers of retinopathies: development of experimental protocols and validation”. Subsequently I was researcher in the San Raffaele Open University of Rome for 4 years. In 2018 I obtained a National scientific qualification for Associate Professor in Human Anatomy. Since 2018 until today I am Peer Reviewer of several international scientific journals, and also Editor in various international journals. I was speaker at several Italian meetings and co-authors in one book of human anatomy edited by Edi-ermes. In 2021, I gained the award as Best Young Researcher for the quality of scientific activity SSD BIO/16, conferred at the 74th National Congress of the Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology.
Can you briefly introduce your research?
Currently, I am researcher of human Anatomy in the Department of Drug and Health Sciences, University of Catania. I am member in different Italian and international association including Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology; Italian Group Neuromorphology and member of Italian Society of experimental biology. I am teaching Human Anatomy in for the Graduate program in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technology and in Pharmacy. My research of interested are the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in cancer progression, particularly in glioblastoma, and the identification of new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment; Study of the molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy.
What are the most challenging features of your work?
The peer-review process represents the constant challenge allowing us to improve innovation of provided data and acquire new methodology approaches.
What are the most 'intriguous' and fulfilling aspects of your research?
To research, the fulfilling aspects are related to the possibility to publish research results by making them available to all scientist community that is a key mission in the work of researchers. In addition, the publication gives us the opportunity to deal with highly expert scientists continuously.
With regard to teaching, I do like teaching Human Anatomy and I think it’s really relevant to give my students the chance to hone their knowledge in the lab. This represents an engaging learning strategy to encourage curiosity and to allow better understanding of the anatomical structure of the human body, thanks to the combination of theoretical knowledges and physical reality of laboratory-based models.