26 August 2019

Júlia Sala, winner of Shoot your project competition

The fellow Júlia Sala (United Kingdom, 2016) won the second edition of the Shoot your project competition, aimed exclusively at ”la Caixa” fellows from any field. 

The objective is to disseminate research, innovation, business and cultural projects, or those in any other discipline. And the prize is the production of a professional video about her project which will be disseminated via social networks and the communication channels of “la Caixa” fellows.

Who is Júlia Sala?

The winner of this edition, Júlia Sala, has an impeccable university record and has several prizes and distinctions for her commitment and academic excellence. A 2015 graduate in Biomedical Science from the University of Barcelona, she has participated in different projects linked to research into Parkinson´s disease and cognitive changes resulting from the consumption of nicotine and drug addiction.

Her final degree project at the University of Cambridge in 2015 was awarded a distinction. It was a study on the neurological basis of cognitive flexibility in preclinical models of schizophrenia.

She is currently undertaking a doctorate in psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and we talked to her to get her to reveal a little about her work.

Q. Your studies and research are focused on the human brain, why does this discipline attract you so much?

A. The brain is the basis of who we are and it is critical for good functioning. However, it remains a mystery. This means that researching it is not only very useful to improve clinical conditions, but rather, it is also a major challenge. These two qualities are what makes this discipline arouse a lot of interest in me.

Q. What does it mean for you to have a professional video to explain your project?

A. Having a professional video is a great opportunity to disseminate my research and bring it to both society and professionals in my field. This makes it possible to keep the population informed, and involve and inspire more people in order to increase the commitment to science. It is pathway to open up new possibilities and make quicker progress. Therefore, it is a pleasure to contribute with this video. 

Q. As we don´t want to have a “spoiler”, can you tell us about just one special characteristic of the research you are carrying out in your doctorate?

A. My project is characterised by researching brain function in relation to specific neurons. We manage to achieve this thanks to the localised use of pharmacology or the application of light that alters the activity of the neurons of interest. This means that we can find out how the brain functions in greater detail and more precisely, and how it may be affected by a neurological disorder.

Júlia will explain all the details of her project in the video and we will be able to share it very shortly.