Spotlight on Women in Neuroanesthesiology and Neuroscience Education and Research (WINNER) Abstract Award: Interview with Charlotte Maschke, MD

Max Kelz, MD, PhD
Chair, Scientific Affairs Committee

Charlotte Maschke, MD
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Dr. Kelz
Max Kelz, MD, PhD
Dr. Maschke
Charlotte Maschke, MD

The Women in Neuroanesthesiology and Neuroscience Education and Research (WINNER) Abstract Award is given to the top female first-time scientific abstract presenter at the SNACC Annual Meeting. This award recognizes excellence in research and is part of SNACC’s strategy to address gender disparities in academic neuroanesthesia. The recipient of this award has been recognized at the SNACC Annual Meeting during the business meeting.

Charlotte Maschke, MD is a PhD Candidate at Integrated Program in Neuroscience of McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Maschke was the recipient for 2021 WINNER Abstract Award. Dr. Max Kelz interviewed Dr. Charlotte Maschke.

How did you become interested in doing research in neuroanesthesiology?

My interest in neuroanesthesiology is grounded in the idea that the injured brain's reaction to propofol anesthesia provides a unique perspective on its capacity for consciousness. My research aims to characterize the brain's functional prerequisites to emerge and sustain consciousness following a traumatic brain injury.

What is your favorite part of doing research?

What I like about research is the variability of different tasks throughout a single project. However, if I need to rank them, programming and teaching would be at the top.

How do you divide your time among all of your responsibilities?

I always try to start and end my day with literature. But, for everything in between, I do not have a clear rule.

What advice do you have for other women just starting out in research?

If there is one thing in my career which changed my perspective entirely, it is the day I started programming. I realized the power of this tool to translate creative ideas into projects at the same time as I realized how much my previous image of programming was biased and marked by gender stereotypes. Women who code are still largely underrepresented, and I would encourage everyone just starting out in science to learn to program and to give this tool the chance to change your life.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

My proudest accomplishment is not a single event that happened in the past. I would rather say, my proudest accomplishment is the life I live right now. I am a PhD candidate, self-taught programmer, and computational neuroscientist working on a project that can improve the treatment of unresponsive patients and contribute to a deeper understanding of the nature of human consciousness. 

Is there anything you would change about your career?

No, I just want to continue.

Who has been most influential in your career to date?

Definitely my supervisor Prof. Stefanie Blain-Moraes who always encourages me to follow my ideas, motivates me to explore, and supports me in every aspect of my studies.

How did this mentor best prepare you for your current work?

Prof. Stefanie Blain-Moraes always encourages independent scientific explorations. She taught me how to see, trust, and develop my own ideas.

How did you first become familiar with SNACC?

I first heard about SNACC through my supervisor and the previous presentations of the BIAPT lab at the Annual Meetings of SNACC.

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