Laetitia Weinhard

May 25, 2021

Efficient learning is critical for the survival of mammals, as they need to constantly adapt to their environment. Sleep is important for learning and memory formation, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Learning and memory are commonly acknowledged to rely on synaptic plasticity: the capacity of synaptic connections between neurons to gain or lose strength, and eventually, rewire. This initially requires rapid molecular modification of the synapse, which relies on the production of new proteins through local translation. In the Klann lab, Laetitia is exploring the role of local translation in sleep-dependent synaptic plasticity. Her postdoctoral research is supported by HFSP. Laetitia completed her master’s degree in Paris and Marseille, France, then her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Cornelius Gross at EMBL in Rome, Italy. At EMBL, she investigated the role of immune cells called microglia in mediating synaptic rewiring and remains fond of the subject. Outside the lab, you might find her playing the clarinet at home, on a mushroom’s hunt upstate, or sailing/kitesurfing wherever wind allows.