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Meet Our Lab Heroes Awards Runner-Up: Vanessa Charrier

Meet Our Lab Heroes Awards Runner-Up: Vanessa Charrier
By Sam Roome 2 years ago 1595 Views No comments

While it was a tough decision to choose just three scientists from all the amazing Lab Heroes Awards entries we received, our Scientific Advisory Board selected Vanessa Charrier of Inserm, France as one of our two first runners-up.

By her own admission, Vanessa’s career has been “a little bit atypical”. During her Masters in Neuroscience in 2006, she worked on the involvement of neurogenesis in spatial navigation. Then, she worked for three years in the same lab as technician.

In 2010, Vanessa started her PhD in another lab and another field: locomotion. She defended her PhD in December 2014, and started working as a Lab Manager... in the first lab where she started her scientific career.

It was her Team Leader at Neurocentre Magendie, D. Nora Abrous, who nominated her, saying: “I believe that Vanessa, a young talented scientist, should win this prize because her enthusiasm, passion and qualification make her a unique and invaluable person who deserves to be rewarded for her dedication!"

We spoke to Vanessa about her work, and how it felt to be named one of our Lab Heroes.

Hi Vanessa, congratulations! How did it feel to find out that your colleagues had nominated you as their Lab Hero?

I felt happy and moved when I heard that I’d been nominated.

How did it feel when you find out you’d been named as one of our Lab Heroes Awards runners-up?

I felt really happy because I didn’t expect to be named as one of your Lab Heroes, it was amazing!

Why do you think it’s so important to champion life science researchers, and what more could be done to show scientists recognition?

It’s important because we do a job that’s involved in public health, and we do it because we feel it’s our vocation.

What was your PhD in? And what are you working on at the moment?

During my PhD I was interested on the role of salamander tails during locomotion, and conducted kinematic and electrophysiological studies as part of my research. Now, I’m working on the role of the different waves of neurogenesis in spatial navigation.

Did you always want to be a scientist when you were younger, and why?

When I was younger my dream was to be doctor, but I didn’t succeed in the first year of my training. However, this allowed me to discover biological studies and realise that I could become a scientist. Now, I can’t imagine doing another job other than this one.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their PhD?

To be perseverant.

What did you enjoy most / are you enjoying most about your PhD?

Learning new methods, running experiments, going to congresses, and discussing my research with my PhD supervisor.

What does a typical day in the lab look like for you?

For me, a typical day is composed of an experiment, and discussions with my colleagues. And a perfect day is when I learn something new!

What are you planning on using your Hello Bio vouchers and travel grant for

I’ll be ordering chemical products (CNO) with my Hello Bio voucher, and regarding the travel grant, I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to think about it!

What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?

For me, doing scientific research is like a game so everything is exciting. My favourite thing to do is to run experiments.


Well done again from all of us here at Hello Bio, Vanessa!

Find out more about Vanessa’s team at Inserm here:

And read Vanessa’s publications here: