Dr. Juanma Fernández Costa, researcher working at the IBEC

Brief Introduction about yourself and the project (TATAMI)

I am a scientific researcher looking for new therapeutic approaches for neuromuscular diseases. In this project particularly we are developing a novel therapeutic strategy for myotonic dystrophy based on blocking specific small RNAs or microRNA with antisense oligonucleotides, or anti-miRs.

Tell us about you implication in the project and your personal opinion about it. Explain me the problem you are solving

Myotonic dystrophy is the most common muscular disease in adults. The disease is degenerative, very disabling and there is no treatment available at the moment. The therapeutic strategy that we propose put the focus on a novel therapeutic target for myotonic dystrophy. We have demonstrated that these anti-miRs are able to rescue pathogenic phenotypes in cellular and animal models.

What is the best and the worst part of your job?

The best part of my job I think that is to participate in projects that aim to improve people’s health and quality of life. The worst part is the career instability in academia.

How do you guarantee your work/life balance?

Sometimes is difficult to have a good balance in our work. I use to disconnect at least one day a week not checking the mail, nor looking for scientific news. But, on special occasions, is not possible to disconnect due to the demands of some projects, deadlines, meetings …

A good advice you will share with someone that is starting in the academia as researcher or PhD.

As the academia career is heavy and sometimes very frustrating, I think that you have to be passionate about your field of research.  

What is your opinion about Technology Transfer between universities and companies?

Tech transfer between universities and companies is essential. As academic researchers we have to promote this transfer of knowledge to the companies. Because the biotech companies will translate the technological advances to the society.  

What do you think about the YEBN? What would you wish to do together with YEBN and its community in the future?

I my opinion, YEBN has an important role in the connection of Biotechnologists, networking is always fruitful both for academic researcher as for industry.

With this we come to the end of the interview. I want to thank you in the name of the YEBN for your time, it is always a pleasure to contrast ideas with experts from the bio-field. See you very soon! And remember: get inspired and get involved!

Jordina Balaguer

Communications Officer of the YEBN e.V.