As a part of my doctoral thesis, I am using stable RNA interference in breast cancer cells. We are interested in the effects of specifically knocked down target proteins on the intracellular signaling cascade. For that, I wanted to perform comparative proteome analysis of untreated and depleted cells with mass spectrometry. A member of my thesis committee Prof. Dr. Schmitt, closely cooperates with Dr. Diamandis at the University of Toronto. Dr. Diamandis is an expert in the study of proteomics in cancer, and therefore his lab is well equipped with several mass spectrometers. Fortunately, he agreed and I got the chance to come to his lab for some analyses. Thanks to the HELENA lab exchange grant, I was able to fly to Toronto. During my ten day stay there I was trained to work on a mass spectrometer, extended my knowledge about the technique and analyzed the samples I had prepared.
In Toronto I not only met several experienced scientists, who gave me helpful feedback on my work so far and new ideas concerning my last graduate student year, but also met new friends from a lot of different countries who are working in Dr. Diamandis lab. One day my colleagues took me to Toronto Island, which is a beautiful piece of nature where one can enjoy a great view of the Toronto skyline.
Thank you HELENA, for giving me the chance to travel to Toronto where I was able to take important steps concerning my doctoral thesis and to extend my scientific network, which will be important for my future career steps in science.