This series introduces the public and fellow researchers to our talented scientists. We interview different IGI members to find out who they are and what makes them passionate about science.
Dr. Daniela Paula de Toledo Thomazella is a postdoctoral fellow in the Staskawicz Lab at UC Berkeley. She studies genetic resistance to pathogens in tomatoes.
Where are you from?
I grew up in a very small town (with nature everywhere!) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Why did you become a scientist?
I believe the main reason I became a scientist was my curiosity about how things work. It’s also so rewarding to see that you can make an intellectual or even practical contribution to the world. In my case, working on plant diseases makes me feel so excited about the opportunity to contribute to achieving food security and developing more sustainable agriculture. Moreover, I think I can help my home country of Brazil, which economically depends on agriculture. I have no doubt that science and technology are the keys to making any country wealthier and a better place to live.
What do you like to do besides research?
I like traveling and getting to know new places and cultures around the world. I wish I had more time for it.
Describe a funny memory you have of working in the lab or in research.
Starting to work in a lab was an exciting step in my life. I wanted to do everything the best I could, from making a simple solution to extracting fungal RNA. However, that was not exactly what happened… One day, I was preparing a culture medium for a fungus that causes a disease in cacao. The lab was empty. I mixed all the chemicals and everything was under control. I weighed all the chemicals perfectly on the balance… I put the beaker on the stir plate to mix and went to my bench to reply to some emails. What I didn’t notice was that the beaker was slowly moving across the stir plate. At the exact moment that my PI entered the lab, the beaker with an entire liter of culture medium fell onto the lab floor and my PI’s shoes. I was SO embarrassed. At least after cleaning up the mess, the floor looked much brighter than before. ????
Tell us about someone or something that inspires you.
I think my family is my greatest inspiration. They taught me to be strong, patient, persistent, and optimistic while at the same time always being nice to others and available to help. And a good lesson that they taught me, which I often rely upon during my everyday scientific experiments: Be patient and keep trying!
Anything else you want to tell the world?
Let’s support and trust in science! It improves our quality of life on many levels and makes the world a better place to live.