Meet Nabil Karnib of Bowling Green State University. The Lebanese national is a PhD student in Robert Huber’s Lab and is presently taking part in the 2019 meeting of Neurobiology of Drosophila. Nabil “heard a lot of positive reviews [about the Neurobiology of Drosophila meeting] from colleagues and though he “underestimated the engaging aspect of it,” it was up to his expectations. Our biennial fly meeting is his first meeting at CSHL and his inaugural experience included a poster presentation. This wasn’t his first time presenting a poster, but it was the first time he presented his work to such a targeted audience. The result? “Everyone was engaged and enthusiastic about [his] work [so] the feedback [he received] was highly constructive and gave [him] a lot of ideas to incorporate in [his] project trajectory.”
What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I am interested in substance abuse, in particular what makes an individual more prone to get addicted to a certain compound. I use the Drosophila to understand the underlying mechanisms for this susceptibility.
How did you decide to make this the focus of your research?
The ability to answer complex behaviors in a relatively simple model that could be translated clinically.
How did your scientific journey begin?
I was always intrigued by behavioral neuroscience: the fact that any normal or maladaptive behavior can be tracked and studied with the appropriate tools. Particularly, tracing the resilient/susceptible phenotype to depression to underlying epigenetic and genetic mechanisms and studying behavioral abnormalities following hypoxic seizures marked the beginning of my career in science.
Was there something specific about the Neurobiology of Drosophila meeting that drew you to attend?
My main reasons for attending the Neurobiology of Drosophila meeting were to know the state of the art in this field and establish collaborations. CSHL and the organizers provided the best platform for this. I identified and approached laboratories doing similar and complementary work to ours, laying foundations for future collaborations.
What is your key takeaway from the meeting?
Collaboration makes science happen.
What and/or how will you apply what you’ve learned from the meeting to your work?
I was introduced to several techniques during the talks and the poster sessions that would be a great asset for my project. Also, it was insightful to see how different groups tackle the same questions using different approaches.
If someone curious in attending this meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I would definitely encourage them to attend. It’s a congenial environment to give and receive feedback on science. I return to the lab with a new understanding of novel techniques and approaches to expand my repertoire. The topics covered a vast range, from basic scientific questions to disease modeling and technological innovations done at the highest levels. The heterogeneity of the topics along with the fast pace of the sessions made the meeting highly engaging.
What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
The picturesque backdrop of Long Island, the chance to see the Big Apple and the new friendships I made.
Thank you to Nabil for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.