By Susan Kennedy (TCD-Ireland to Xenopat-Spain)
Another month on the Marie Curie RISE secondment has gone by too fast. Once again it was another fantastic experience at Xenopat. It gave me the opportunity to progress my previous secondment work with one of our lead compounds in an orthotopic PDX model. Our 3DNEONET collaboration with Xenopat under the Marie Sklodowska Curie RISE initiative is truly going from strength to strength
I am extremely fortunate to acquire further industry experience in a very supportive company (as well as some winter sunshine!)
Once more the team at Xenopat were superb to work with. It was fascinating seeing Rosa and Alberto at work, whether it was implanting cell lines subcutaneously, into the eye, the liver or orthotopic implantation of tumours into the cecum, I could not get over their skill and speed. I felt far more at ease in handling the animals this time around and most importantly working with them helped to improve my Spanish as weighing the animals was always conducted in Spanish!
During my secondment in Barcelona I attended the EACR Tracking Cancer conference and presented two posters on my research. The conference took place in the beautiful CosmoCaixa Science Gallery. It was great to present my research and receive feedback on my posters.
We had some teething issues regarding drug solubility for one of our studies but we overcame that with our discovery to resuspend the compound in corn oil. I discussed this revelation with some world-renowned scientists but they didn’t have much to say on the matter!!.
The benefit of participating in a 3DNeoNet secondment is always more than the output of the final lab results.
It is a chance to discuss research projects, the pros and cons of careers in academia vs. industry and future career paths. It is an opportunity to meet international researchers and startup companies such as Aromics who share a laboratory space with Xenopat.
It is a chance to form new friendships and strengthen old ones...
… to go on weekend trips to visit beautiful Montserrat (to pray for good secondment results!!) and experience local celebrations like the Calcotada in which I learned some very important skills!
As the secondment finished, just like the last time, Barcelona and the team at Xenopat team were very hard leave. I look forward to working with them on the results of yet another successful trip.