In October 2016, I spend two weeks in the working group of Prof. Andreas Ludwig at the Institute of Inflammatory Pharmacology (Entzündungspharmakologie) at the RWTH Aachen.
During some pre-experiments in Kiel, I could show that hypoxia might be an important environmental factor for the stimulation of proteases. Based on these findings, we decided to establish a hypoxic chamber in our laboratory to be able to simulate physiological hypoxic conditions. In the laboratory of Prof. Ludwig, the same hypoxic chamber was established, so it was a good opportunity for me to get insight in the system and the possible readout systems. Additionally, I had the chance to bring my own cell lines to make first experiments in the hypoxic chamber. During the lab visit, I was supervised by a post doc who was responsible for establishing the hypoxic chamber. First, I got technical instructions and learned how to build up the system in the laboratory. Second, I learned how to control the hypoxic conditions over time and could benefit from the experience of the lab members. Third, I learned about different readout systems to control the hypoxia such as western blot or RT-PCR with suitable proteins and genes. Last but not least, I performed first experiments with hepatocytes in the hypoxic chambers under different hypoxic conditions. Back in Kiel, I am establishing the hypoxic chamber in our laboratory and performing the first experiment to set up the system.
In addition to the scientific knowledge I have acquired, it has also been an enrichment for me personally, which has broadened my horizons and also provided me with new contacts for my future path in science.