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Meet our Biologist Dr. Eliana La Luna

Updated: May 21, 2021

Why did you become a biologist?

Biology is the science that studies the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that govern living beings, and it is the science according to which the cell represents the basic unit of life. Our body is a perfect machine that moves in the direction of life, it is constantly evolving: my passion and my curiosity towards what we are, have always fascinated me to become the biologist, I am today. I owe a lot to my university career and above all to some professors who transmitted to me the love for this field, allowing me to test out some experiments in their laboratories. From the age of 12 I began to nurture a strong curiosity for science, and for the related research that runs behind many pathologies to which still today there isn’t a precise remedy nor cure. This strong interest was born from experiencing first-hand my grandfather, who was struck by Alzheimer's disease, which still kills thousands of victims today. This was one more reason for me to choose the path of biology and diagnostics. Furthermore, I also had a strong interest in nutrition: my university career in fact ended with a Master's Degree in Molecular, Health and Nutrition Biology. Biology includes about 20 different branches, including nutrition. My particular specialization, is dealing with laboratory diagnostics and nutritional biology.

Why did you choose your specialty?

As I stated earlier, one of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in biology and nutrition was due to the Alzheimer's disease that affected my grandfather. Many debilitating diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, can be prevented through a correct and healthy balanced diet, allowing you to improve the quality of life and stay healthy. Furthermore, some clinical trials have shown that a correct lifestyle, an equally correct diet, can prevent or delay the cognitive disorders typically associated with Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, many scientific studies also report that, to date, 30% of diseases are due to an unbalanced diet and an incorrect lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to remember that proper nutrition represents the basis of our well-being: we are talking about prevention on a clinical and pathological level, and I decided to take this path precisely because I would like to help as many people as possible to re-evaluate their lifestyle, allowing them to find a better interpretation.

What are the good points of being a biologist? The bad ones?

Being a biologist/nutritionist means working hard every day, continuously having to train, and always remain up to date with the times and, above all, with the continuous changes our bodies undergo. I don't necessarily know what the positive and negative sides of this field are. Still, I can say that it’s important to offer your knowledge and humanity because it can allow you to receive satisfaction on many different levels. These represent the main reason why I decided to choose this field. I am a person who always wants to push myself over and beyond and give my best. The idea of ​​not being able to satisfy a patient's needs leaves me sad and unsatisfied. However, this must also be taken into account in any profession.

What makes FirstMed different from other places where you have practiced medicine?

I am happy to announce that this is my first real work experience as a Biologist, I am at the beginning of my career, and I still have so much to learn. When I was interviewed for this position, I felt that it could be the right place for me to start my career. When I was informed that I had passed the selection process, I couldn’t have been happier. One of my personal goals has always been to learn new languages, including English. Previously, I had worked for a period in England, allowing me to deepen my basic knowledge, and now the fact of working in a clinic where both Italian and English are spoken is extremely satisfying.

What do you like most about practicing medicine at FirstMed?

Working at FirstMed is a continuous drive towards improvement, personal growth, and discovery. It is a multi-specialized international clinic. Therefore, I have the opportunity to collaborate with various professionals, which makes me very proud because it offers me the opportunity for professional development. Also, as I said before, being in an international atmosphere, I can easily improve my English, so I couldn't have been luckier to be part of this team.

What do you consider when looking for a doctor for yourself or a family member?

I believe that professionalism is one of the main requirements, but this has also to include humanity. The patient often asks for "help" and seeks comfort: empathy is a fundamental requirement, in my opinion. Being professional does not just mean "healing" the patient by focusing on solving the problem. Still, it also means being empathic, human, knowing how to listen, and give comfort. I look for this in a doctor, whether it is for a member of my family or me.

Besides specific medical advice that you give to individual patients, is there anything you would recommend for people to stay as healthy as possible?

What I think is most important is psycho-physical well-being: I always recommend slowing down. Let me explain: today we all live a very hectic life, made up of continuous races against time, and its good practice from time to time to switch off and focus on yourself, and not pay too much attention to the judgment of others and accept yourself for what you are. This is the best way to achieve personal growth and improvement. As a Nutritional Biologist, I always recommend achieving awareness of what you are and what you want to become. Only in this way, I believe it is possible to achieve one's goals with the right mindset and determination.


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