Hi! My name is Josien de Bie and I’ve just completed my PhD in Neuroscience at Macquarie University. When I’m not growing human brain cells in a lab (muhahah), I like to play the ukelele or MC the World Bar open mic jazz night (they let me sing too, if I’ve been good).
When I was in the last year of elementary school, I wrote an essay saying I wanted to be an ‘ethiological antropologist’ when I grew up. It was a discipline my dad had made up to accommodate my interest in animal and human behavior. I discovered the work of Konrad Lorenz in the high school library and knew: this is what I need to do.
I went on to study Biology at the University of Groningen and I was always most interested in big biological systems that influence everything in the body. During my Master’s degree I started with a project on chronobiology; the effects of the time of the day on the body (which are huge btw). Then I went on to immunology, which is another system that can have an effect on almost every aspect of your physiology. And then I discovered behavioral physiology and neuroscience and absolutely fell in love. I got to study the effects of adolescent bullying on stress, depression and serotonin in the brain in rats in Prof. Jaap Koolhaas‘ lab under the watchful eye of Prof. Buwalda and knew I’d found my calling.
Learning about neurobiology made me want to link things up. I started reading about the immune system and its effects on the brain. The one thing that kept coming up was the kynurenine pathway and it just lit up my mind. After that I knew I needed to be a scientist and I needed to study the brain and I’ve been in science ever since.