Featured ICSA members
Meet our members, read about their stories and aspirations. Do you want to feature on this page? Contact us for an interview.
02 - From Indonesia
Dr Agian Jeffilano Barinda
"I am currently studying the clinical pharmacology residency program at the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia and working as a Lecturer in the same department as well. [...]
I got a PhD from Kobe University, Japan, under the supervision of Professor Kenichi Hirata and followed with Post Doctoral Fellowship at Kobe Pharmaceutical University, Japan, under the supervision of Professor Noriaki Emoto."
What are you working on?
"I am currently studying the clinical pharmacology residency program at the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia and working as a Lecturer in the same department as well. I am also trying to establish the Cellular Senescence Research Centre, which mainly focuses on drug discovery in longevity medicine in Metabolic Cardiovascular, and Aging (MVA) Cluster, Indonesia Medical Education and Research Institute (IMERI) at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia.
I got a PhD from Kobe University, Japan, under the supervision of Professor Kenichi Hirata and followed with Post Doctoral Fellowship at Kobe Pharmaceutical University, Japan, under the supervision of Professor Noriaki Emoto. During my living in Japan, I studied the pathological role of senescent Endothelial Cell-mediated Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP) in metabolic disorders in the cell culture study and in vivo study by generating an EC-Specific progeroid mice model."
What has your career path been?
"My long-term goal is to become a physician-scientist that has huge capability to perform translational research in longevity medicine, including senolytics, that starts with basic research to investigate the drug candidate in a preclinical setting, elucidate the molecular mechanism at the molecular/cellular level, and then validate these drug candidates in the clinical setting."
What is your current role like? What about it makes you want to get up in the morning?
"Being a physician-scientist that mainly focuses on senescence research is relatively new in my country (Indonesia) and somewhat challenging. Most of the researchers in my country are not familiar with senescence research. Therefore, I feel responsible for introducing these fields, particularly longevity medicine, in my country.
To make my dream happen, after completing my PhD and Post-Doc, I continue to study clinical pharmacology to understand how to perform clinical trials of the novel anti-senescence drug. Also, to enhance my basic science experience, I almost did a short course in Prof. Masashi Narita's lab at the end of 2022 to elucidate vascular aging in cancer. However, I need to cancel my plan due to the COVID-19 situation. In the future, I would like to apply for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship after finishing my Clinical Pharmacology Specialist to gain an advanced experience in the next level of senescence research."
What would you like to do after your current role?
"I would like to build a drug discovery lab investigating the novel senolytic for cellular senescence. Recently, I am identifying a novel senolytic herb that originally found in Indonesia. To further support my research, I join Asian Pacific Grants for Innovative Research Plan at the Japanese Circulation Society 2023, Fukuoka, Japan. Thankfully, I won the competition and got this grant."
Are there any expectations you had about this career path that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?
"As I mentioned before, the senescence study is not familiar in Indonesia. Thus, it makes me difficult to discuss or collaboration research in my country. Fortunately, the ICSA community could become an excellent answer to overcome my issue."
What skills are the most crucial to succeeding in this career?
"Empowering the basic and clinical skills is essential for becoming a translational researcher that studies cellular senescence from "the bench" to "the bedside". Additionally, communication skill is indeed important to build good collaboration in the senescence area."
What is the best bit of advice you have for someone looking to move into this area?
"Just follow your dream and passion. Lastly, I highly recommend you join ICSA/yICSA community to further expand your experience by meeting several high-qualified scientists in cellular senescence worldwide."
01 - From Argentina
Florencia L. Herbstein
"I’m an Argentinian Ph.D. student who’s currently working on cellular senescence and cancer at Instituto de Investigación en Biomedicina de Buenos Aires (IBioBA), a partner Institute of the Max Planck Society for the last four years supported by a national scholarship from CONICET under the direction of Dr. Eduardo Arzt. I’m also part of the teaching staff at the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, the University of Buenos Aires and I’ve given human physiology lessons for the last 8 years."
What are you working on?
"I study the molecular mechanisms that explain why pituitary tumors are senescent focusing on interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling.
How I joined yICSA I was following ICSA since I started my Ph.D. When the 2020 meeting in Japan turned out to be a hybrid conference with the possibility to attend virtually, I was very excited that I could join and see worldwide work in the senescence field. The virtual conference in Japan gave me the chance to see, take part and keep posted on the new findings in the field as well when I attended the yICSA’s (young ICSA) special seminar with their invited speaker and I became aware that they were recruiting for several positions on the yICSA committee.
Joining yICSA was and still is an exceptional and multicultural experience that allows me to virtually interact with peers from almost all over the world."
What dis ICSA sponsorship represent to you?
"Thanks to ICSA’s support I have the exceptional chance to attend ICSA’s annual conference in person in The Netherlands. This is the first time I’ll be attending a scientific meeting outside Argentina and consequently that I’ll be able to present my results and meet an international community that works on cellular senescence. It does not just represent the chance to be among the most prestigious academic society in the field but will let me take part in in-person talks and debates.
This is a very motivating opportunity that certainly will be a breakthrough in my career and make a difference as a young Latin American scientist which is why I’m deeply grateful to ICSA’s community."
What are the challenges you feel you face as a PhD student in Argentina?
"Since we are far away from Europe/North America, plane tickers are expensive so it’s difficult to attend international conferences or have in-person contact with students from all over the world."
Do you have any recommendations or advice to students that may not have the financial means to support a trip to an international conference?
"I’d stay to keep updated with virtual seminars or conferences that are usually announced on social networks. I’d also look for travel fellowships and sponsor in different scientific associations."
What was the experience of attending the ICSA meeting like for you? What was the most valuable/important aspect of having been able to attend the in-person meeting (as compared to the virtual one)?
"Undoubtedly, the chance to speak with peers from overseas was one of the most valuable experiences. Also, the opportunity to hear the feedback of my work from the top scientists on the field was very constructive for me. Moreover, the chance to approach in-person to scientists whose work I’m interested in, was more beneficial than reaching them via email."
Video credits: Biomedicine Research Institute of Buenos Aires (IBioBA)- Press and multimedia