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Dr . Valentina Zonca is post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Milan. Dr Zonca got her PhD in psychological medicine in 2022 at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

During her PhD, Dr Zonca focused her attention in understanding the biological mechanisms underpinning the onset of depression during adolescence as well as the environmental risk factors associated with the development of the disorder, such as childhood trauma. Now, she is working with preclinical models of early in life stress, and her focus is to unveil the biological signatures underlying the vulnerability and resilience to stress exposure during pregnancy and the behavioral and biological effects on the offspring.

During her career as young researches, Dr Zonca has acquired proficiency in a variety of experimental approaches including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques, in vivo and in vitro models. She has developed experimental skills in the processing of human biopsies and in performing a wide panel of genome-wide and candidate-gene expression analysis, together with their biostatical analysis.

Dr Zonca has been engaged in the organization of formal and informal scientific and social activities (i.e. scientific seminars, conferences and soft skills courses) as well as in the direct supervision of bachelor and master thesis students. She is actively involved as a writer in the blog Inspire The Mind specifically focusing on adolescents mental health, and she is the social media manager (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) of the social accounts of her labs as well as of European projects, such as the HappyMums project.

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