COVID-19. When Tugce Satir defended his thesis on March 20 the eternal reviewer was in Finland and one member of the examining committee was in Lund.
– Family and friends back home in Turkey followed the proceedings through a link open to the public. It all went very well, but obviously it would have been better if we all could have been here together.
The fact that amyloid beta plaque plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease is fairly well examined. But why is there amyloid in the brain at all? This is one of several questions that Tugse Satir raises in his thesis.
– Researchers have focused on trying to understand what causes the disease, but it is also important to examine the protein’s normal functions in the brain. What we believe is that amyloid is important to the development of neurons and for the synapses that help neurons communicate with one another.
Tugce Satir believes that having the external reviewer and parts of the examining committee participating online was a better option than having to postpone the defence.
– Everything went exactly according to plan. We had no technical issues and the PowerPoint presentations worked well. And I am grateful and relieved that we had such an interesting discussion; nobody tried to put me off balance, but seemed to be honestly interested in my results and my answers to various questions. So I am very happy and pleased, although naturally I am sad that my family are not here. But they did follow it through a link on GU Play and have already congratulated me.
The external reviewer, Annakaisa Haapasalo, Associate Professor in Neurobiology at the University of Eastern Finland, took part from Kuopio in Finland.
– This is the first time I have done an online thesis defence. I think it worked very well. We do find ourselves in a very unusual situation where all alternative means of meeting and organising conferences must be considered. Perhaps online meetings will be more common in the future, now that more people will have experienced them. Several conferences that I know of have already managed to convert their regular programmes, including poster presentations, to online gatherings. But a thesis defence, in particular, I still think is best done in the traditional manner, with the doctoral student, external reviewer, examining committee and audience physically present. Most people only defend a thesis once in a lifetime. Also, with an online event, you do miss out on the party held afterwards.
The title of Tugce Satir’s thesis is The physiological processing of Alzheimer-associated amyloid beta precursor protein in human and animal-derived neuronal models.
TEXT: EVA LUNDGREN / GU JOURNAL
PHOTO: ALLAN ERIKSSON / GU JOURNAL