Visiting Partner: Johannes Kramer
Home Institution: Medical Student at FAU, Germany
Host Institution: UCL, UK
Rotation and Time: TRENAL Visiting Predoctoral Student 2017
Details of visit:
TRENAL has given me the opportunity to explore two very different sides of tissue engineering. At the laboratory of Prof. Felix Engel in Erlangen, I worked on cardiac tissue engineering with the final goal of 3D-bioprinting functional cardiac tissue to replace damaged or lost myocardium in patients. Here at Dr. Jennifer Rohn’s laboratory at UCL, where I am working with terminally differentiated 3D urothelial tissue, the focus is very different: Rather than attempting to develop functional tissue for implantation, we study the effect of host-pathogen interaction during microbial infection to develop strategies for treating patients with recurrent urinary tract infections. This difference in perspective, as well as the vastly different demands in terms of tissue culture and handling techniques, allow me to both apply the skills I have already developed, as well as continuously expand and hone them.
At the same time, TRENAL has placed me in an environment that is new and stimulating in every other way – needless to say, with its sheer size, history and culture, London is the ideal place for a semester abroad. The friendships and experiences I am making here, along with the unpredictable difficulties that these are accompanied by, will shape my life for years to come.