In this episode, we speak to Detina And Argita Zalli, both scientists and Senior lecturers at Imperial Colledge London and the University of Oxford.
Dr Argita is currently a teaching and learning specialist lead in the Faculty of Medicine and Dr Detina is at the University of Oxford as a lead for the MSc course in Precision Cancer Medicine.
We Speak Science is their non-profit institution aiming to increase awareness of Science and medicine in the USA and Europe. They also started a charity, "Aferdita Ime", collaborating with other world-class oncologists and scientists whose aim is to help cancer patients through psycho-social support and counselling. Like Mira, Detina snd Argita were both refugees at the age of 12; they lost everything and had to flee their countries together with their parents to survive and have a chance in life.
Connect with them here:
Argita Zalli Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-argita-zalli-msc-phd-1779aa161
Detina Zalli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/detina-zalli-ph-d-924a5540
01:00 Detina and Argita explain why they had to flee Albania in 1997 and describe how it was to live as children in a country under civil unrest.
07:30 They share a memory of how they fled the country; last-minute plan changes, dodgy arrangements and the fear of hiding under trucks on the France-UK border.
16:52 How being a refugee left them with an ever-present feeling of insecurity and being judged by others.
20:03 Detina describes their journey metaphorically - "We have fallen, then started to crawl and walk and run again."
21:14 Argita says - Disadvantage is an advantage to some extent; all your fears and insecurities push you further and make you stronger.
22:00 How coming from a disadvantaged background makes you a people person and improves your communication skills; you learn to listen and show compassion.
24:35 Detina shares how it was better they didn't know how arduous the journey would be; otherwise, we would not have taken it.
28:50 They are leading secondary research with scientists from Harward and MIT for COVID-19 and will publish condensed papers to help scientists and medics improve future treatments.
32:00 Good Morning Hope is an autobiography about the challenges they faced in life and how they overcame them.
35:00 They want their children to learn some of the lessons they did because it makes them stronger, and hopefully, they appreciate life even more.
43:00 When it comes to balancing their careers, charity work, family and kids, it can be challenging because you never get it right, but you have to try your best; after all, we are all humans.
45:25 Dreams don't work unless you do; if you want something, you have to work towards it. - says Detina at the end of our conversation.
46:19 Sucess means different things for everyone, and for Detina, it has nothing to do with how many degrees you have or how much money you make; it has to do with how happy you are with what you are doing.
51:00 You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have, and people who never had to experience it still don't know how strong they are!
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