Senka Holzer, PhD
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow And Certified Life Coach
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the biochemical connection between our minds and bodies. What began as a youthful curiosity grew into a life-long drive to understand how the connection works. When I did my first research project for a school chemistry competition, I fell in love with the scientific method of proving or disproving a theory. At age fourteen, while I didn’t know what specific branch of science I would follow, I knew I would spend my life researching, testing, and learning about the wonderfully complex elements that make up a human being. Intuition and scientific interest led me to my specialty – heart physiology.
I was born in Novi Sad, Serbia, at a time of political and economic turmoil. My early life was filled with both great and not-so-great experiences: winning the Serbian team ping-pong championship, volunteering in summer camps throughout Europe, and twice being named best student of the year. I formed friendships that will endure for a lifetime. On the downside, I also lived through three wars and one of the world’s worst instances of inflation. These early experiences, some intensely difficult at the time, have helped me develop resilience and a deeply optimistic world view.
Senka’s Professional Background
After completing my studies in biochemistry at the University of Novi Sad, I moved to Graz, Austria, to attend a PhD program in molecular medicine. That’s where I took my first steps in heart research. I never planned to make Austria my permanent home, but when I met Michael, the man who would become my husband there, I tied very special heartstrings to the country. So much for plans!
Soon after earning my PhD, I was awarded the Austrian Science Fund fellowship, which supports research abroad in some of the world’s top labs. My next destination was the University of California, Davis, where I enjoyed the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of heart physiology. In addition, I pursued my parallel interest in how the mind and body affect each other, by completing two more programs – Professional Coaching for Life and Work, at the UC Davis Extension, and the Science of Happiness, at UC Berkeley.
I’ve started the Science2Wellbeing in order to share empirical and experimental findings that have helped me create a state of satisfaction that weathers the ups and downs of life in a constantly changing world. Joining forces with Michelle and Carole led to a fantastic opportunity of creating unique up-to-date, science-based coaching tools and strategies that we are now ready to share with you!