Post-Congress

EuTRiPD gave us the chance to participate in an important congress such as the ISPD held in Madrid last September. All of us presented very nice and interesting results obtained during our training in the local laboratories. It was a very pleasant time to see the whole team again and to see how the project is evolving. It was also great to feel the real summer and eat some Spanish food, after months of rain.

Now we are all back to our host cities and it's time to face the last months of this training and to think about what's going to come next for us and what EuTRiPD has given us as well as what have we offered to the project.

Ilse Calm

Ilse Calm Vidal

Pre-Congress

It is Friday 9 PM, my suitcase is prepared and I am ready for traveling to the ISPD 2014 Congress in Madrid. It is almost one year ago since my first travel with EuTriPD and the feelings are completely different. The spectator has turned into an early stage researcher, the new faces from the past are already good friends and the frustrations and illusions are shared.

The first time I was there listening to the presentations of the ESRs and looking at the posters that they prepared wondering how it would be staying in the same situation. But now, I am here in the pre-congress stress mode covering the poster that I have printed.

I hope it will be a great experience again and see how everybody is evolving.

Marc Vila Cuenca

Marc Vila Cuenca

Ethics vote

Testing of novel peritoneal dialysis fluids (PDF) requires evidence of relevant drug action on different levels before it may be used in patients, it has to be investigated in cell culture and in animal models. The model, which I use to study PDF and novel interventions, is a primary mesothelial cell model, where the cells are derived from omentum specimens obtained from patients undergoing surgery. And it seems, our surgeons have the same schedule as those in Poznan  as Andras blogged here (http://www.eutripd.eu/tissue_culture/) before, there is one thing you can be sure off  a piece of omentum on Friday afternoon. These cells are cultured until confluence and then I perform different assays to test PDF with different additives and conditions.

In order to work in accordance with ethical guidelines and good laboratory practice, for research on material of human or animal Katarzyna Bialasorigin, it is necessary to have a vote by a local ethics committee, which allows one to carry out experiments. Sometimes somebody else did the work and the needed vote is already available in the institution, but then it can happen that the vote expires or does not cover every aspect of a study and one has to reapply. Due to changes in the regulation on surplus biological material, we had to write such an ethics proposal for our work with omentum derived primary cells. The process of application to the local ethics committee is running in local language, which means scientific German in my case, and not only therefore it took some time and efforts. As for a grant application, the online submission is always tricky and the forms that have to be filled seem to be a separate research discipline. An ethics vote is also required for further phases of drug studies: for animal studies and especially clinical studies. The first of which will be one of the next steps in my project, however, with completely new set of documents, laws and regulations. So I hope, after my previous experience in writing ethics applications, that it works faster the second time I do it.

Katarzyna Bialas

International Gamma Delta T-cells Conference

This year I have been lucky enough to have the possibility not only to attend our conference on PD but also to be selected for a talk on my own research project at the international conference of Gamma delta T cells. This was a three days event organised in Chicago and gathering hundreds of scientist working on gamma delta T cells from all around the world. It was amazing to see how this relatively minor population of T cells was able to get together so many people with different backgrounds, all keen to present their research discoveries. The conference was organized in such a way to give an overview of the main properties of these cells, from their discovery to the latest contributions to immunotherapy.

Photo Moser-Eberl teamIt started with the history of Gamma delta T cells with presentations given by some of the researchers who were among the first to discover them back in the 1980s. It was more than amazing to listen to them talking about their first observations, discussions and hypotheses. Listening to these talks, we all realised that there are so many more ways to study all the features of these cells. It has been extremely rewarding to be able to share my research results and talk with other gamma delta T cells scientists studying, like me, their role during infection. It was a great place for sharing ideas so much that we had the pleasure to start a new collaboration with a group in Stockholm, very exciting!

Overall this was also a great experience as Moser/Eberl group. Most of us had the opportunity to present their own projects but in particular it gave us a chance to hangout all together outside the lab, exploring Chicago followed by a trip to New York afterwards and I have to say we really enjoyed it!!

Anna Rita Liuzzi

Teamwork

In the last two years I have been trained at the Medical University of Vienna in the field of Proteomics. This technique allows me and my research group to study the protein set expressed by an organism or system. In simple words, it is like taking a snapshot of the proteins expressed at that given time, retrieving information about their abundances, the way they might interact, the changes or post-translational modifications they underwent. As you Silvia Tarantinomight imagine, this picture can very much differ if it is shot at particular time, in regards to a particular cytotype or in response to certain stimuli. All this
together with the size and complexity of the human proteome makes proteomics a very challenging research approach.

But what I also learned in this past two years is the importance of working in a team. By sharing competencies, skills and ideas, teamwork has increased the efficiency of my project progresses and improved the quality of it. Good communication, frequent meetings, feedbacks have had a benefit not only on my research project but also increased motivation, enthusiasm and reduced work-related stress. Going to work every day in such a positive environment has been so far for me a great source of commitment and I hope, the key for successful PhD project.

Silvia Tarantino

Short story of repetition

Everyone who works in a laboratory knows very well the meaning of the word repetition. Here I would like to tell (or ratherEdyta Kawka write) you something about the inevitable, sometimes maybe frustrating: the repetition of experiments.

I work on peritoneal fibroblasts which I isolate (method already described by Andras in his previous blog of April 30th) and separate into two
subpopulations. In my daily lab work I use various measurement methods to find the differences between obtained subsets. Some differences are visible right after separation procedure such as cell morphology, however more interesting is what is inside of these cells. To determine what is invisible I perform: enzymatic immunoassay to measure concentration of cytokines, western blots and immunofluorescence staining to examine selected proteins production and rtPCR to analyze selected gene expression.

The parameter measured once, in single assay, gives an impression that something really interesting may come out from our experiments. Here we got to the point of repetition. To achieve the amount of results that is significant for our research, thus to change an impression into a fact (scientific fact) the repetition of measurements has to be done multiple times. Therefore I isolate cells again, separate them (again) and make another assay to confirm results. And this is what we all do in our labs: repeating, repeating and repeating.

Edyta Kawka

Tissue culture

One of the most important and crucial things for my work is the Tissue. I isolate mesothelial cells and fibroblasts, which together take quite some time. Briefly, for mesothelial cells we use tripsin, for fibroblasts a mixture of collagenase-hyaluronidase. All together it can take up to 5-6 hours (which is pretty much especially if you start it at 2 pm).
Because tissue supply mainly depends on the surgeons and the surgeons' work depend on many other factors, you can never know when the tissuAndras Rudolfe comes. If you are lucky it comes early (before noon), if not you can have a nice afternoon in the lab. As a Murphy's rule tissue usually comes when I have the least time for it (it means usually on Friday afternoon). So if there was even no tissue at all during the whole week, on Friday after lunch for sure I get the
message from the hospital that the tissue is waiting for me.
To overcome this 'problem', some people use different techniques for the isolation of these cells, they leave the tissue for overnight in the fridge (after tripsin) and thus divide the process into two parts (and liberate themselves from being in the lab in the afternoon). Interestingly, sometimes they can have as good results as those who do the process in one go.
So tissue supply in many aspects is very unpredictable, but the good news is that you can count with at least one tissue per week: Friday afternoon.

András Rudolf

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