Project Title: Neurobiological Mechanisms of Fatigue in Health and After COVID-19
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Institution: Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger
Funding NIH Institute/Center: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Project ID: K99NS133961
The passion Agostina Casamento-Moran, PhD, found for science arose during her competitive tennis years, when she developed a strong curiosity and desire to understand the adaptations that the body undergoes with physical conditioning and how to leverage these changes to enhance performance. To pursue her athletic and academic goals, she emigrated from Argentina to become a student-athlete in the United States. She then realized that her career goals went beyond enhancing sports performance and that she wanted to use neuroscience principles to improve the quality of life of individuals with neurological disorders. So, she obtained a PhD in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Florida to investigate the neuromuscular mechanisms that underlie and limit motor function. During Dr. Casamento-Moran’s postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, however, she realized that her training had overlooked factors that affect people’s willingness to learn or move. Fatigue is one of these factors, and while it’s pervasive in the health care system, it remains poorly understood and undertreated. Her overarching career goal, therefore, is to elucidate the behavioral and neurobiological features of fatigue across different illnesses and develop effective clinical interventions. Dr. Casamento-Moran will do so by leading a research group that nurtures a culture of teamwork, respect, diversity, curiosity, and determination. She’s convinced that robust scientific advancements are generated in collaborative and enjoyable environments that provide constructive feedback and support throughout the scientific process. She promotes an environment that respects and embraces diversity of ideas and backgrounds, that satisfies curiosity through ingenious experimental designs, and promotes perseverance when challenges arise.