Travel report – experiences from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Author: Rafael Brandao, PhD student, BRIC Research Groups, Brakebusch group, University of Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of my PhD program, it is mandatory that I spend at least a month in another research environment. Thanks to the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) travel fellowship from Danish Biochemical Society I had the chance to attend the CRISPR 2016 conference at WIS in Rehovot, Israel, where I also visited Professor Yosef Yarden’s laboratory in May-June 2016.
Figure 1. The Martin S. Kraar Observatory, an iconic building at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Photo: Ilan Manulis.
After a short taxi ride from the Tel Aviv airport I arrived at my accommodation on the WIS Campus. Following a quick visit to the nearest grocery store, I dedicated some time to explore the surroundings. I soon realized that it is indeed a place completely dedicated to research, where people not only live and work, but also engage in social activities with their colleagues, who may become their friends. Aware of the fact that there are people coming from all over the world, there are people at the WIS whose function is to promote a variety of social activities. They can be anything from movie nights to hiking or other kinds of sports. Therefore, possible integration difficulties are easily overcome at WIS.
During the first week of my stay I attended the CRISPR 2016 conference (1). Here I had the opportunity to listen to great talks about this adaptive system in bacteria. I also learned about how we can take advantage of this system to generate all sorts of genetic mutations in eukaryotic systems or use it as a screening method to find genes that could be important in diseases.
My PhD project deals with the role of Ack1, a protein kinase, in cancer and it is known that Ack1 interacts with EGFR and promotes its degradation. The mechanism of EGFR endocytosis is a well-studied topic at Professor Yosef Yarden’s laboratory at WIS (2) where I spent the remaining of my time in Israel. I had the opportunity to engage into valuable scientific discussions with Professor Yarden and his lab members. This provided me with a deeper knowledge not only about the mechanism of receptor tyrosine kinase endocytosis, but also the techniques that can be used in the context of my project.
All together, my stay at WIS in Israel has been a valuable experience that has significantly contributed to both my personal and scientific development.
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