Dr. Mosca is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. His lab has a longstanding interest in the neurobiology of Drosophila (easy to do when your last name means ‘fly’ in three different Romance languages). They specifically study the molecular mechanisms and genetic bases for synaptic organization and maturation. His lab opened in 2017 and has since then been pushing back the frontiers of knowledge with an incredibly talented crew of students and postdocs. Dr. Mosca’s lab is a safe space that values tolerance, collaboration, truth, and support in the pursuit of outstanding science. Visit them at http://www.moscalab.org or @drosophilosophy (Tim) and @moscalab (the lab) on Twitter.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

No

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have a lot of framed EM and ICC images around the house. Along with the chemical structure of serotonin somewhere on the wall …

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Both

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Sweet

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Spanish and Portuguese – once gave half a talk in Portuguese (granted, I’m sure I sounded like a 4 year old)

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Baker at a Bed & Breakfast

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Cosmology!

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Portugal

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Light telekinesis

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Watch: Contact
Read: Heart of Darkness
Listen to: the discography of Saves the Day

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Build something.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

The scientific method, a good pair of running shoes, and definitely water.

15 What beverage gives you life?

Mountain Dew – it’s my one vice.

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

A lawyer.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The fact that I *get* to go in every day and work with the students and postdocs in my lab. I’d do it for free.

19 What got you excited in science?

The fact that we don’t know things – the first time I read in a text book that we didn’t know the chemical structure of something yet, I was hooked.

20 What excites you about science now?

Super-resolution imaging. The fact that we can see synapses in all their glory in vivo is wild to me.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

1990s teen movies.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Bass playing?

23 What is your favorite game?

Settlers of Catan

24 What is the last book you read?

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

You learn something from every single person you meet – and sometimes, it’s what NOT to do.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Re-wire a house.

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Not everyone will get your jokes. But the *right* people will.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

A 10 mile run.

29 What is the last thing you watched?

The 2nd season of Umbrella Academy

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Any number of fly lines …

31 What is your favorite animal?

Owls

32 What is your favorite book?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Buffalo Chicken Dip

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

April 23rd.

35 What is your favorite plant?

Tulips

36 What is your favorite science fact?

It’s my favorite phenotype: worms mutant for a Teneurin protein die because their lips are no longer attached to their esophagus.

37 What is your favorite season?

Summer

38 What is your favorite smell?

Petrichor

39 What is your favorite sound?

The servo of a microscope moving …

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m obstinate. I’ll stick with something until I figure it out.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Triscadecaphobia

42 What is your proudest moment?

Watching my students succeed. It’s just the best.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Redwood – something old that sticks around.

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

The neighborhoods. It’s a big city with small town feels.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

We’re not looking at any diseases correctly. There are unappreciated aspects of everything that if we just tweaked our thinking a little, we could make huge advances. Stay tuned.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Dr. Balint Kacsoh (@BalintZKacsoh)