Lab of Erica Levitt, Ph.D.
Department: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Hometown: Budapest, Hungary
Year I became a Gator: 2017
Research focus: The role of opioid-sensitive respiratory neurons in the brain in both normal breathing and under the influence of opioids. We are also looking for potential therapeutic targets to combat respiratory depression in opioid overdoses.
What drives me: My goal is to find a specific target that we can use to reverse the respiratory effects of opioids without causing any pain or discomfort.
Quote: “This is a chapter for learning to become completely independent, learning everything about how to be a productive scientist, a good team leader and a supportive mentor. I am lucky to have great mentors who are my role models and are always here to help.”
What I love about Gainesville: I am a big fan of the weather here. I also love that we are surrounded by nature wherever we go. It is so special to me that we have regular visitors in our backyard — lots of deer, foxes, bobcats, hawks, gopher tortoises and one lost alligator at some point.
Something few people know about me: I used to compete in swimming and triathlon back in Hungary.
My favorite food: It depends on my mood. But I could probably live on seafood and pasta for the rest of my life.
In my free time, I like to: My husband and I have two dogs, so we try to spend most of our free time with them. We love going to the beach and the springs and going kayak-fishing on the weekends. We also regularly go on hikes and bike rides on the nature trails.
This post was published as part of a larger article on postdoctoral researchers. At UF’s McKnight Brain Institute, postdocs come from across the globe, attracted by access to renowned neuroscientists and pioneers in their fields who serve as mentors and by a wide array of leading scientific programs ranging from cognitive aging and brain tumors to Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory physiology.