I have just returned from my trip to Australia, where I visited Professor Shoba Ranganathan and the other members of the Bioinformatics Group of the Macquarie University in Sydney. Among others, this working group specializes in structural biology. I stayed there for four weeks (14 September – 9 October). During this time, I learned not only the basics of MHC binding affinities, but also made important contacts for my PhD project.
Shoba had an open ear for all of my questions during my stay, and we plan to keep in touch upon my return to Germany. All in all, it was a good start for my project on predicting antigenic peptides in inflammatory diseases, and I got a lot of ideas on how to deal with the topic.
But next to the jungle of new knowledge for me and learning about the approaches of artificial intelligence, e.g. random forests in binding prediction, there was also some time to explore the trees within Sydney and the rain forest of the Blue Mountains together with people from all over the world.