Raphael Sirtoli


After obtaining a BA in Italian and Management studies from University College London I realized the business world was not for me, but science was. I taught myself enough about human metabolism, natural selection, nutrition, pharmacology and pathology to succeed in a trial semester afforded to me by Staffordshire University for their distance-learning Master’s in Molecular Biology. During that course I practiced techniques for North/West/Southern blotting, RT-PCR, qPCR, bacterial cell culturing, plasmid insertion intoE. coli, gene identification, mutation identification, ELISA and RID assays, as well as genetic diagnoses techniques for identifying bacteria such as MRSA. My Master’s thesis involved characterizing the metabolism of MCF-7 breast cancer cells using metabolic inhibitors. I found them to have a highly fermentative metabolism (Warburg phenotype) unlike that seen in other experiments. Now I’m part of the Behavioral and Molecular Lab in Braga, Portugal as well as the ITN network. I’m grateful and excited to work on the subject of schizophrenia and hope to push the work forward even if just a little bit, building on the already fascinating work done by predecessors.