By Beatriz De la Parra
After my fourth stay in UCD, I can only confirm (again!) that 3D-NEONET is a huge mind-opening opportunity to grow at professional level, learn how other teams work and manage their everyday tasks in other areas. While working on the objectives of the project, secondments allow you to transfer all the acquired knowledge to your research field, bringing it to your own team to make best possible use of the experience.
This latest time I stayed only for three weeks, but thanks to the support of Breandan Kennedy’s lab, as well as the previous skills acquired in previous stays, I was able to conduct a new experiment. I obtained very interesting results related to the effect of different fungal extracts on the development on the ocular vasculature in zebrafish larvae, which are very useful for my company and that we will try to publish.
All “professional” aspects of the project are fundamental, but not less important is all the “personal” side of things that will stay with you forever. All experiences lived al all levels: unique moments, adventure weekends, time shared with friends, colleagues helping out and making lab-work easier, newly met people that you feel were there forever…
All that is what leads you out of your comfort zone, of your city, of your every-day routine to be open to whatever comes. And all this is not to be told but to be lived and enjoyed.
Despite having my worst weather in Dublin ever (three dreadful storms in a row with snow, rain, hail, gale, icing-cold and even some sunray), my fourth secondment was different because I felt at home. And that is a wonderful stimulating feeling, that makes you long for other new experiences without fear.
I want to say thank you to all the persons that made this possible: to my host Breandan, to Yolanda for giving it all at professional and personal level, to Liz four our lovely meetings to improve my English.
Thank you also to all the girls in the lab (Husvinee, Rebecca, Ailis, Kayleigh, Flavia, Alicia and Susana) for their patience and kindness, and finally to all those old and new friends that I always find in Dublin: Bernadette, Amaya, Stephano, Fernando, Kiara, Kevin, Manu….
You all reminded me every day that, despite away from home, life is sharing moments, and home can be anywhere. Many, thanks 3D-NEONET