Within the Orbital ITN, my work is focused on the development of drug-releasing intraocular lenses for the prevention of chronic inflammation after cataract surgery. My experience as an Early Stage Researcher started last September, at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon. Since then, I have been learning more and more about ophthalmic devices every day, with the help of the BioMat Research Group I am working in.
I decided to apply for a PhD position after my Master thesis project in Polytechnic University of Milan, the city I am from: I was excited about the laboratory life, the amazing experiences it is linked to, and the passion with which new discoveries are made day by day by scientists all over the world. Working on the design of intraocular lenses is now an opportunity for me to apply theoretical knowledge to the development of biomedical devices of actual clinical use, with an eye on the practical unmet medical needs.
The Horizon 2020 program allowed me to be part of this network, with whom I hope to grow both as a scientist and as a person: I am convinced that the collaboration with people of different nationalities, and therefore different backgrounds, is an incredible chance for being complementary to each other and develop great ideas together, and I will have this opportunity both during my stay at IST and during the planned secondments at the international partners.
Before applying for the program, I was aware that moving abroad can be not an easy choice: it forces you to face real adult-life problems on your own, struggle with bureaucracy in a foreign language, and adapt your daily routine to a different way of living life. But after a few months here in Portugal, I feel to say that it was totally worth it. Lisbon welcomed me in the warmest way (also literally speaking!), and now I am learning the language, making new connections, and waiting to discover this new culture day by day.
You can find out more about Nadia’s project, here.