Postdoctoral Alumni - Angelo Iulianella
During Angelo Iulianella’s postdoc interview at Stowers in 2001, the facility tour required a hard hat. Even then, Iulianella knew that Stower’s technical resources would be ahead of the curve. And after meeting with research director Robb Krumlauf and faculty member Paul Trainor, he liked their philosophy even better. “They believed in the mission—that to understand a problem you must know the basic science.”
Iulianella trained as a postdoc and research scientist in Trainor’s lab. There, he characterized Cut family genes expressed by stem cells as they mature into interneurons. “Paul is interested in cranio-facial development, but let me work on my own project,” says Iulianella. “It is a sign of a great mentor to give a trainee a chance to answer their own questions.”
In 2009 Iulianella became assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He now analyzes Cut gene neuronal function as part of the Dalhousie Mobility Project, which focuses on locomotion research.
But he misses Kansas City barbecue, friends from the lab and the Académie Lafayette French immersion school where his wife taught, and his mentor and friend Trainor. “He was supportive of me in more ways than one,” he laughs. “He threw me a bachelor party I can’t even remember.”Iulianella advises students seeking academic positions to emphasize scientific rather than technical training. “Being at Stowers gives you the freedom to think deeply about science, because of the technology and support staff at your disposal,” he says. “There, only your imagination limits what you can accomplish.”