Researchers from Gdansk and Hamburg collaborate in Research Education

“The Fall School in Hamburg that I had participated, was a very precious and improving time”, Mariusz Grinholc stated after the First Fall School in Molecular Diagnostics performed in Hamburg. He was send by Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, together with other young scientists to Hamburg for a two week fully packed training and research education course at the Institute of Tumor Biology (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendof) and the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (University of Hamburg). This Fall School was made possible based on the close collaboration of the three Institutions and their heads and due to a financial funding of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Fall School covering areas of oncogenomics, molecular diagnostic of cancer as well as recombinant antibody technologies included theoretical lessons and practical studies in the laboratories of Prof. Burkhard Brandt and Prof. Reinhard Bredehorst. On the basis of their studies and training in Gdansk the polish doctoral students learned specific technologies and applications and discussed with their German counterparts scientific backgrounds. “A great value of this training was the possibility to learn various methods not only by theory but also by practice”, said Elzbieta Ratajczak, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Gdansk.

Purpose of the Fall School was to create a new platform for international collaboration in research and education and additionally give students from the both Universities the possibility to expand the scientific knowledge and network. “The most interesting for me was performing of immunocytological staining of tumor blood cells and got to know rudiment of cell picking by micromanipulator,” said Anna Piskorz from the Department of Biology and Genetics, Medical University of Gdansk.

Students from Gdansk saw the Fall School as a unique opportunity to extend their knowledge about practical molecular biology approaches beyond scientific issues concerning their PhD projects and also get additional input for future scientific plans. “There is no doubt that I will use the gained knowledge in my own experiments. Beside the scientific part I also enjoyed the social activities,” Tomasz Romanowski from the Intercollegiate Faculty said after the two weeks in Hamburg.

For the two hosting institutions University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and University of Hamburg the First Fall School showed the high level of research education in Gdansk. Prof. Brand and Dr. Spillner (Laboratory of Prof. Bredehorst): “We are impressed by the high level of training of the students from the Gdansk Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology. This is an outstanding academic training post in Europe.” Besides this, the Fall School and other bilateral activities of the three partners create a platform for networking not only on the senior level but also on graduate and post graduates. Prof. Bredehorst: “Networking on all levels is a key to improve bi- and multilateral cooperation. Additionally platforms like the Fall School could also be very attractive for companies to get in contact with highly educated and motivated researches from other European countries like Poland.”

As both participants and organizers experienced the very fruitful atmosphere and the successful collaboration, this First Fall School truly forms the kick off of transregional collaboration under the umbrella of ScanBalt Campus. ScanBalt Campus (SBC) aims at creating critical mass in research and education within some selected scientific areas in biotechnology and life science. In the project, 31 universities, hospitals and companies from 10 countries in Northern Europe unite to increase the mobility of students, lecturers and researchers within the ScanBalt region. The project, co-funded by the European Union, pioneers in implementing the Bologna process within a large network. Furthermore, SBC aims at being a model for a trans-national and trans-sectorial organization, based on education, research and development.

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