Paola Arlotta is a developmental neurobiologist and a professor at Harvard. She studies how the most complex organ in the human body (in the world? in the universe maybe?) comes to be: the brain (!). How does it develop from just a bunch of cells? Paola is also the Chair of her Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, where she takes particular care about the nurturing of the next generation of scientists in her field. In this episode, Paola describes the crucial role that happiness and passion play for her in doing research. But science for Paola is also a walk in the dark woods, requiring the courage to tackle seemingly quirky questions that get at the heart of the most fundamental biology. We also discussed the role of the mentor in helping to develop the brain for creativity, much the way an infant’s brain develops to understand the world around it.
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