“I really like to help share and facilitate dialogue between scientists and the general public." Céline Schott, doctoral student at the IRCM.
For over half a century, the IRCM has contributed to the development and training of generations of researchers from all over the world. Every year, talented and dedicated future scientists trust the IRCM to help propel their careers.
Céline, you are a doctoral student at the IRCM Molecular Physiology Research Unit under the supervision of Mathieu Ferron. Tell us more about your academic journey.
C.S.: I started my undergraduate studies in France, where I obtained a bachelor in metabolic diseases. I then wanted to go abroad in order to discover new aspects of research and to diversify my knowledge. This is how I ended up in Montreal, for a master's degree on oncogenes involved in blood cancers at the University of Montreal. After that, I was eager to deepen my education in an area that has fascinated me from the start: metabolic diseases, diabetes and obesity.
Why did you choose the IRCM?
C.S.: Being enrolled at the University of Montreal, an institution affiliated with the IRCM, I was aware of the Institute's influence in the field of metabolism for the scientific community, both at the national and international levels. Dr. Ferron's laboratory therefore seemed to be the ideal place considering the innovative research on glucose metabolism that was being carried out there.
Since then, I have had the privilege of working on a subject that I love, within a great team that supports me, encourages me and nurtures my research.
Tell us about your research?
C.S..: I've been working on my project for almost 4 years and I am still as passionate about it as day one! I am studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate the insulin response. We discovered that a protein called GAS6, circulating in the blood and often involved in cancer, could be implicated. This protein makes muscles less sensitive to insulin. As a result, muscles are less efficient at picking up glucose from the blood, a condition that can cause diabetes. I am currently writing my first thesis article and I am really proud to share these results with the scientific community.
After ten years of university, the thesis represents such an important step in the life of a research student. The thought of reaching this milestone soon fills me with both excitement and anxiety!
What will be the next step for you?
C.S.: I'm not done with metabolic disease! I would like to pursue postdoctoral studies on the subject. I am currently evaluating my options.
I would also like to get more involved in philanthropy to help support research. During my time at the Institute, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the IRCM Foundation. This made me very aware of the challenges of funding impactful research. I think everyone has a role to play and I want to do my part.
I also discovered a deep interest in the popularization and valorization of science, two important aspects of the IRCM's mission. So this is another path I am considering in the long term. I really like to help share and facilitate dialogue between scientists and the general public.