I did my secondment in the Oncoray Institute in Dresden (Germany), under the supervision of Professor Nils Cordes; from 30th October 2017 to 1st December 2017.
This experience has been extremely enriching for me. Professor Cordes’ lab is focused on cell adhesion molecules of the integrin family and their signalling pathways; in order to study these proteins, they mainly perform 3D cell culture models.
Their expertise in 3D models enabled me to overcome some issues I was experiencing in my research project. I am focused on the study of the extracellular matrix proteins and their involvement both in tumour progression and radiation response. Despite some promising results in vivo I experienced some difficulties in obtaining similar results in cell culture. In 2D cell culture cells grows in a layer, whereas in a 3D cell culture system cells are allowed to grow in all directions, mimicking their behaviour in vivo and giving more reliable results. Learning these techniques gave me the necessary tools to proceed in my research.
Beside science I also enjoyed visiting another lab and seeing how they work and being able to exchange ideas. I spent valuable time with my ITN radiate-ESR colleagues and with the rest of the team.
I am happy I did this experience, it was really helpful and constructive from both a personal and a professional point of view.