Retsina Meyer

RetsinaMeyer_1 (638x640)Scientist, Communicator, Citizen of the World

 I was born into a family of scientists: my mother a medical technologist in the local hospital and my father an organizational psychologist in the US Air Force. Science is in my blood and, true to my soul, I have been a scientist for as long as I can remember:

Curious, creative, and questioning;

reveling in the unearthing of new truths;

in constant awe of the beauty of the order in the chaos of the natural world.

Motivated to better understand our world, I obtained formal training as a scientist. I earned bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Biopsychology from the University of Arizona, then a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at MIT under the guidance of a committee of amazing scientists: Professors Ann Graybiel, Richard Wurtman, Matthew Wilson, and Ki Goosens as my dissertation advisor.

My personal relationship with science is deep but I have always felt that science is not the endeavor of an individual, an institution, or a country: science is a human endeavor.

While in Norway as a Fulbright Scholar, I was fortunate to be one of the American representatives at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. The recipient was Dr. Wangari Maathai, a biologist from Kenya. It is impossible to overstate how inspiring it was to see the Peace Prize awarded to a scientist. Dr. Maathai had used scientific education to liberate herself then used her knowledge of biology and ecology to bring freedom, peace, and democracy to her people. The Nobel committee noted that we are all capable of similar endeavors, no matter our profession. Science works best if we work together, unified in the process of discovery. The Nobel lecture taught me that science is also a mode by which we can unify mankind.

I came to Norway thinking that cross-cultural diplomacy was necessary for the betterment of science, but I left knowing that the inverse was the greater lesson: that science is a universal language, that truth-finding can lead to peace-building, and that scientists are diplomats.

Throughout my life, it has been imperative for me to communicate the great ideas I learned during my studies to family, friends, and colleagues. Therefore, I am enthusiastic to participate in TEDx to continue that conversation, nurturing the understanding of any curious mind that will listen and inspiring a future of scientist-diplomats.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Meyer is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Resilience Pharma, a startup focused on novel treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other diseases of the brain. She obtained a Neuroscience Ph.D. at MIT where she was a Presidential Fellow, Global Fellow, Graduate Woman of Excellence, and recipient of five named fellowships (Schoemaker, Hampton Young, Singleton, Killian, and Leventhal). She was US Fulbright Scholar with the Moser Lab at the Centre for the Biology of Memory in Norway, and a serves as a science advocate with the Science Policy Initiative. She proudly served as a live-in mentor for undergraduates (GRT) at MIT Simmons Hall for 6 years.