As a research scientist, my major interest is the neurobiology of the ageing process: what are the changes (particularly metabolic and functional) that are characterising the aged neurons. My work, concentrating mainly on the metabolic triad of Ca regulation – mitochondria – reactive oxygen species, suggests that there are important differences between the normal ageing process and the pathological instances of various neurodegenerative conditions.
In the last few years I have become more and more interested engaging with the emerging academic educational field of Liberal Arts and Sciences, an educational approach that takes an interdisciplinary approach to student education, and preparing the leaders and the professionals of the 21st century to engage with a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world.
For a long time, I have been interested in Public Engagement with Sciences, considering that one of the very important social duties and civic responsibilities of the academic scientists is to present and engage the public at large with various takes and views on science. It is only people who are at ease with understanding and questioning science that can engage effectively with the various issues raised by the rapid developments in science and technology at societal level.For more than a decade I have organised various forums of debate (e.g., Cafe Scientifique, Cafe Culturel, Brain Awareness Day events, etc.).
Throughout this activity I become more and more aware of the tendency of the public to separate Science from cultural environment in which it exists, and my focus is in trying to ease Science back in its normal cultural narrative.