Visiting Partner: Eike Schwartze
Home Institution: Medical Student at FAU, Germany
Host Institution: YALE, New Haven
Rotation and Time: TRENAL Visiting Predoctoral Student 2018/2019
Dividing these 12 months of basic research into two semesters there were surprising parts in both laboratories I had the pleasure of working in. Starting in the lab of Prof. Kerstin Amann under supervision of Prof. Christoph Daniel in the Department of Nephropathology I first was introduced to scientific research. Learning methods of cell culture, I studied the role of mTOR inhibition compared to standard of care to prevent podocyte injury. Getting introduced to scientific work I was surprised how often experiments or assays did not work as planned and had to be repeated. All in all, I am very thankful that Prof. Daniel and the lab gave me the opportunity to be a part of their team.
After six months in Germany, I performed my last 6 months of basic research at Yale University School of Medicine. Through the monthlong contact to OISS and the lab I arrived, and everything was very well organized so that I was able to start almost immediately with the projects. I had the honor of working in the lab of Shuta Ishibe, MD and applied my recently acquired skills which facilitated the initial weeks. Since his lab focuses primarily on podocytes, it was even easier to translate the skills and I was able to work on even more exciting projects. One project involves working on a CRISPR/CAS9 Knockout library experiment and the other one focusing on the link between APOL1 gene mutations and CKD. Being new to the American education system I was surprised that Yale has a (for me) exceptional way of easing the life of their employees and students by for example providing Shuttle services or offering brunches in the residential colleges’ dining halls. It also enables its visiting scholars to go to very interesting talks on recent research or cultural events including plays or classic opera (whereas the MET in New York is also always worth a try).
All in all, the program is an extraordinary possibility for students to get an intensive look into basic research and for sure offers unique possibilities for networking and planning future lab internships. I want to thank the TRENAL program and DAAD for making this possible.