Giulia MiraccaStart date: 01-10-2015
Academic department: Life Sciences
Title of research project: Homeostatic and circadian factors regulating deep sleep
Academic supervisor: Professors Nick Franks & Bill Wisden
Native country: Italy

How has the scholarship award enabled you to pursue your ambitions?

The scholarship has given me the opportunity to work and study in one of the most important research labs in my field. Thanks to this scholarship my research is not driven by external funders or companies that could redirect my work towards their interests, but leaves me the freedom to explore different challenging projects without any restrictions. This is what keeps students passionate about their research, and in our field passion is fundamental to keep the motivation high even during hard times. 

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?

I chose Imperial because it is an excellent institution and well known worldwide. It offers many opportunities for collaborations within the University itself and with other external institutions. This wide scientific network in which Imperial is included is fundamental for improving our ongoing research, but also for building and consolidating the bases of our next carrier steps. 

What have you been up to on the programme so far?

So far in the programme I have been developing and exploring innovative techniques to study neuronal activities and novel neuronal circuits in the brain during sleep and wake. I had the freedom to set up new systems not previously developed in my lab, and this allowed me to learn not only about biology and neuroscience, but also about electrical engineering, mathematics, programming and physics. With these projects I am now collecting data which is ready for high profile journal publications. Very challenging, but also very exciting!