Montserrat Soler-Lopez

Structural biologist

I do the research that I want and it’s a privilege that not many have.  I’m really lucky to have academic freedom and to be able to do novel research. It’s increasingly difficult to find funding in the preliminary stages of a scientific project like mine. The ESRF has given me this great opportunity despite the risk of arriving at a dead-end. This freedom is so precious to me that I left my home town, Barcelona, family and a permanent position to come to Grenoble. Now I travel regularly between the two cities. My research is currently focused on the role of mitochondria in triggering Alzheimer’s disease, which hasn´t been studied in depth. Alzheimer’s is a very complex disease and so far there is no medicine that can heal it or slow it down. It is incredible that more than a century since its discovery we still know so little about it. The ESRF team has been extremely supportive and there’s a lot of trust invested in our research. After three years of searching without much luck, my team is finally getting promising results, which is very encouraging. We are exploring new platforms, for example cryo-electron microscopy. I am very ambitious, and I am looking forward to benefitting from the new capabilities that the Extremely Brilliant Source is going to offer. Serial crystallography on the MX beamlines will enable us to study smaller crystals. This is an exciting time and I am enjoying every minute of it.”

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