Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 9/30/2021 10:07:00 AM
Gabriele Stocco, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
What Professional Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
The professional accomplishment of which I am most proud is seeing the pharmacogenomic biomarkers during my postdoc at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital validated in additional patient populations and in vitro models in studies performed during my junior faculty years in Trieste, Italy. That work is still continuing now, and I hope these biomarkers will become useful tools to personalize patients’ therapies.
What Is the Most Important Leadership Lesson You Have Learned the Hard Way?
The most important leadership lesson I have learned the hard way is that even during stressful and unexpected situations, such as those related to organizing laboratory activities during the recent pandemic crisis, it is fundamental to communicate and share instructions and directions calmly and directly to collaborators.
Who Has Inspired You in Your Career?
My mentors during my PhD, postdoc, and junior faculty time have inspired me in my career, especially Professor William Evans of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Professor Giuliana Decorti of the University of Trieste, and Professor Alessandro Ventura of the University of Trieste. The depth of their insight on all aspects of clinical pharmacology, encompassing both basic and translational aspects and patient care, combined with a very sensitive attention to the relationship with students and trainees, is a great source of inspiration in developing and performing my activities as a clinical pharmacologist.
What Has Been the Greatest Challenge in Your Career?
The greatest challenge in my career has been my postdoc training in the United States while wanting to return to my alma mater and children’s hospital in Italy as a junior member of the faculty. Fulfilling this objective required a lot of dedication, working, and maintaining relationships on both fronts, combining research and teaching activities.
Do You Have a Favorite Tip or Trick for Clinical Practice or Research That You Want to Share With Fellow Members?
It is important in all clinical and research aspects to keep in mind the dose of the medications and to be ready to adjust the parameters for the dose taken by the patients or experimental subjects. This includes not taking for granted that the patients are taking the drug correctly, as compliance, especially in chronic therapy, may be hindered. On the same note, I like to teach students that if they have a question to which they do not know the answer in clinical pharmacology, the first potential solution to contemplate is the dose!
What Is Your Favorite Society Memory?
My favorite Society memory is the ASCPT 2019 Annual Meeting. During this meeting I met collaborators I did not expect to see, such as Dr. Oscar Della Pasqua. We were able to discuss future research plans, and this was instrumental in continuing a particular research project that we were working on.
When You Aren’t Working, How Do You Spend Your Free Time?
I like running outside and swimming, for the relaxation and physical benefit they bring. While these are individual activities, my wife and I work together to keep these activities a priority. We go together with our children to the park, and while one runs the other takes care of the children. I also like reading novels and essays, but time for that can be minimal.
How Do You Keep Focused and Motivated?
Discussing with my collaborators about the research, students, and clinical activities is the main source of my focus and motivation, as this allows me to identify the most critical needs, to dodge less important issues, and to identify and plan the best solutions. Reading recent outstanding studies in important journals is a great source of motivation, as is seeing the importance of innovative research accomplishments and their intrinsic beauty.
What Was Your Childhood Dream Job?
Ever since I was a teenager, I dreamed of being a scientist involved in pharmacological research. I am not sure when this started, but seeing the movie Awakenings has somehow cultivated my idea of what a clinical pharmacologist should be. In this regard, a minor aspect is that I remember that the main character of the movie liked the periodic table of elements as a source of motivation. I keep a large copy of the table, inherited from one of the senior members of the faculty in my university, hanging on the wall of my office.
What’s One Thing People Would Be Surprised to Know About You?
I am a Catholic, and the inspiration and guidance obtained from my religion has been instrumental in my growth as a human being and a scientist.
Dr. Stocco has been a member of ASCPT since 2009.