As part of my PhD within the TargetCare consortium, I am currently performing my secondment at UMCU in Utrecht, working together with Joao Garcia and under the supervision of Dr Laura Creemers.
The main aim of the placement is to combine the drug delivery systems, that I have developed at Imperial College London, together with osteoarthritis chondrocytes and cell lines developed by Joao Garcia at UMCU looking at cytotoxicity and release profiles.
I think this secondment is an example of how two completely different disciplines (i.e. chemistry and biology) can come together to achieve a common goal. I find really interesting to see the direct biological/clinical translation of my work and I am having the amazing opportunity to know new techniques and acquire completely different skills, approaching the field of cell biology. One aspect that I have particularly enjoyed is working together with another ESRs and see how the combination of different expertise and approaches together with respective doubts and questions can create new stimulating and a bit “crazy” ideas. Having new point of views and exchanging ideas is extremely motivating and I will bring this back to London to finish up my PhD.
To conclude, I think that the best aspect of being part of a multidisciplinary Consortium like TargetCare is indeed the mobility, the numerous opportunities for travelling and being in contact with different research environments, networking and have the possibilities of starting collaborations for the future.
Considering that all of this is always combined with drinks, coffee breaks and good food (yeah, this is something that all scientists have in common ;) ) the result is also lots of fun!