Detina Zalli, PH.D.


Dr. Detina Zalli is among the youngest postdoctoral researchers at Harvard University. She began her postdoctoral work at age 25, after publishing an important scientific paper based on her Ph.D. research on Nek8—a protein associated with polycystic kidney disease and breast cancer. She is now working on a group of proteins known to be involved in cell migration of cancer cells as well as in bone diseases such as osteoporosis. She is also teaching dental medical students and has organized a course for doctors and medical students on cilia and human disease.  Dr. Zalli and her identical twin sister, Argita, were born in Fier, Albania. They escaped the political turmoil there by immigrating to Folkestone, England, as refugees. During her time in the United Kingdom, she witnessed many people suffering, including her parents. These difficult experiences made her determined to help people, and at the young age of 13, she dedicated herself to helping the Albanian community in the U.K. by volunteering as a translator for Albanian immigrants at hospitals and social services.

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