Some weeks ago I got the opportunity to visit a lab in the US to gain new experiences and insights into immune repertoire analysis. The journey was supported by my supervisor Saleh M. Ibrahim, Lübeck Institute of Experimental Dermatology, and our Research Training Group. I visited Uri Hershberg’s lab at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for two weeks (6th – 17th of July 2015). This international and interdisciplinary group studies how simple events at the molecular and cellular level of immune cell and pathogen interactions, lead to immune specificity and function in health and disease. They are working closely with Eline Luning Prak’s research group, which is working on the genetics of the antibody repertoire in autoimmunity, as well.
I got the chance to discuss my project with people from both groups and to interact closely with them. We talked about current methods and results. Furthermore, the improvement and development of my analysis pipeline was my main interest and we discussed future steps and projects. Additionally, I attended several joined lab meetings, which were mostly related to B and T cell research.
Overall, it was a great experience for me because I could not just improve my analysis pipeline, but also got insights into other approaches to solve such problems. The discussions were very insightful for the development of this project. Besides the scientific interactions, the social part was very interesting. To interact with people from a research group in a foreign country and travel around was exciting.