Attending the “Lab Techniques in Mammalian Cell Biology” cpd (continuing professional development) course, held at UCL (University College London) was, in summary a very enlightening experience for me! It was fascinating to learn about the latest advancements in cell biology and moreover to gain lab experience covering some of the cutting edge methods utilised in UCL.
Attending the course also gave us the opportunity to interact with leading experts in the research fields of ageing, regeneration, stem cells and cellular metabolism. They gave lectures with a focus on cell biology theory and methods applied to answer questions in their research fields. The course included a tutorial covering a method for quantifying fluorescence of subcellular localization of proteins.
I found this method to be a necessary tool for critical evaluation of fluorescence levels and distribution within cells. In addition to the lectures there were practical sessions covering the procedures for cell culture maintenance in short and long term. We also had the chance to perform transfection and then evaluate the transfection efficiency within the cell culture; freeze and thaw mammalian cells; test anti-cancer drugs on living mammalian cells and then assay for the cell death levels. We had the chance too, to observe various mammalian cell types under microscope.
As a young scientist, it is very important for me to expand my understanding of other research fields. During my PhD I have been using frogs as a model organism. However, once completing this course in the near future, I am interested in applying my biochemical skills in the cell biology field, using cell cultures as a model system. I believe attending this training course at UCL is a step forward in pursuing my research goals by equipping me better as a future professional researcher. Furthermore, the course confirmed that I am on the right track but also inspired me even more by the love for science I found in the people who contributed to all the teaching.