MEET THE TRAINEE – PIA LUNDEGAARD
Click on Pia's picture to visit her lab site.
1. Who is your current research mentor/PI?
Morten Salling Olesen.
2. What is your research focus?
Cardiac genomics and genes involved in atrial fibrillation.
3. What current project(s) are you working on?
Three different projects; One on structural genes in relation to the development of arrhythmias, another one calcium signaling and a third one which involves the regulation of cardiac ion channels and the development of arrhythmias.
4. How long have you been working with zebrafish?
Close to 10 years now.
5. What prompted you to take up research using the zebrafish model?
During my Master’s degree, I did three different projects. The first project was working with mice, and the second project was in Liz Patton’s lab, and I instantly became very fascinated by the zebrafish model.
Getting to know you better…
6. Where were you born/where did you grow up?
I was born in Aarhus, Denmark, and grew up close to here as well.
7. When did you realize you wanted to be a scientist?
My first degree is in medical laboratory technology, and while I was training at a pathology department I met a pediatric pathologist with whom I started to work on some research projects after normal working hours and on the weekends. It was a very exciting and stimulating time, and I realized that I actually enjoyed the research much more than my other tasks. So I decided to go back to university after working for two years.
8. Where did you do your undergraduate studies?
Edinburgh University, UK.
9. Where did you do your graduate work?
With Liz Patton at the MRC Human Genetics unit, in Edinburgh.
10. What other jobs have you had?
Medical laboratory tech and teacher at the Danish refugee help center.
Science and Careers…
11. Share a turning point or defining moment in your science/career.
I think joining Liz’s lab was a turning point, since it introduced me to the fish as a model organism.
12. What would you like to be doing in 5 years? 10 years? (science careers or other)
I would love to do what I am doing now. Maybe just with a more permanent position than the one I am in at the moment.
13. Other than scientist – what career would you like to attempt?
Professional footballer, perhaps.
14. If you could be present for any "Eureka" moment in history (i.e. the moment some scientific discovery was made), which moment would you choose? Why?
Outside of work…
What do you enjoy doing outside of work/lab?
I like to spend time with my family and friends. I live with my husband and three children in an energy sustainable community with 19 other families, and there are a lot of social activities and responsibilities associated with living this way. It is in general a very rewarding and stimulating way to live, for many reasons. I am fond of music and enjoy going to concerts and music festivals, and I love football.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
17. What are you reading right now (not including research papers)?
"The God Delusion," by Richard Dawkins.
18. Name a favorite song or musical piece.
Father John Misty’s, “The night Josh Tillman came to our apartment.”
19. Favorite place you have lived or visited?
Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live and study. We still try to go back as often as possible to visit friends and family.
20. Provide a quote that speaks to you.
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." - Danish philosopher Søren Kirkegaard
Below is an image captured by the featured trainee...
Confocal image of alpha actinin staining in the atria of an isolated 72 hpf zebrafish heart.