Short-term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution and contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action.

These are the experiences of two PhD students that were awarded with STSM:

Beatriz Felgueiras’s Experience (from NOVA Medical School, Lisbon – Portugal to University of Tübingen – Germany):
I had the privilege of visiting the esteemed Kevin Achberger Lab at the Institute of Neuroanatomy and Developmental Biology, University of Tübingen, a leading facility in retinal organoid research. I was able to observe pivotal experiments focused on differentiating pluripotent stem cells into retinal organoids and also, their integration with microglia. Under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Achberger and his team, I was able to learn detailed protocols from cell culture to the use of specialized differentiation media. Discussions with Dr. Achberger and his team provided me with deep insights into optimizing culture conditions for retinal organoids and combining them with microglia, emphasizing the potential implications for retinal disease research and therapeutic development. The STSM exceeded all expectations since I gained significant insights into retinal organoids and the microglia integration. This knowledge will enhance my PhD project at NOVA Medical School, Lisbon, and contribute to future collaborative efforts. Future plans include regular sharing of experimental data, joint grant applications, and potential short-term research exchange programs. The Action Cost facilitated the development of in vitro models for retinal organoid biology and inflammation, with direct implications for targeted retinal disease therapies. In conclusion, this STSM provided invaluable insights and set the stage for future collaborations, advancing the understanding of retinal diseases and therapeutic interventions.

Diogo Carregosa’s Experience (from NOVA Medical School, Lisbon – Portugal to University of Parma – Italy):
My STSM experience was truly enriching and life-changing. I learned so much during my time abroad (at Pedro Mena’s laboratory at University of Parma). I was able to get hands-on experience in metabolomics with a very experienced and helpful team and top-of-the-line equipment. Everyone I met was incredibly kind and welcoming, which made the whole experience even more enjoyable. It was also a fantastic opportunity to build connections and open up new opportunities for the future.

We appreciate Beatriz Felgueiras and Diogo Carregosa for sharing their remarkable experiences during their STSM funded by IMMUPARKNET. These experiences not only enrich their academic pursuits but also foster collaboration and innovation in their respective fields.

Stay tuned for more updates on our STSM program and the exciting endeavors of our participants!

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