Art & Science

When Art meets Science

(excerpts from the 2007 and 2008 Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Magical Evening Journal)

--Valeria Cavalli takes her creative passion beyond the laboratory, hoping to bring more smiles to people in the paralysis community through both her research in neuroscience and her jewelry designs.--

--Dr. Valeria Cavalli first became involved with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF) as a recipient of a prestigious postdoctoral research fellowship. Dr. Cavalli attended CDRF's inaugural Spinal Cord Symposium, at which she was able to meet many members of the spinal cord community and gain a deeper understanding of how her research directly impacts the lives of so many people. While pursuing research characterizing the molecular determinants leading to successful neuronal regeneration at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr Cavalli is thrilled to "give back" to the CDRF and the spinal cord community. While much of her life is spent in the laboratory, Dr. Cavalli also developed a passion and avocation for the art of jewelry making.--

Since 2006, Valeria designs and fabricates a unique piece to be offered as a raffle prize for the annual CDRF Magical Evening to be held in New York City.

Acknowledgments: In 2006, Valeria received anonymous financial support and received technical assistance from the Italian jewelry designer Lucio Iezzi. In 2007 and 2008, David Kodner, personal jeweler in St Louis, provided financial and technical support. 

Since 2010, Valeria designs and crafts her jewelry pieces in her home-based studio, which she shares with her husband, Vitaly Klyachko, also a neuroscientist and jewelry maker. Valeria learned the art of jewelry-making with Jay Whaley at the UC San Diego Crafts Center, and Mike Gleason at St Louis' Craft Alliance.

In 2019, Valeria donated a custom jewelry piece to Hope Happens, a St. Louis-based foundation,which partners with the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders.







Photography: Don Casper