On the 8th of July I flew to Portland, Oregon, USA where I was to do my internship for five weeks at the Earle A. Chiles Cancer Research Institute, Robert W. Franz Cancer Center at Providence Portland.
During my flight everything went well though my plane had to stop at Washington DC for a little longer than planned because of heavy thunder storms passing by. Arriving at 11pm local time I was was quite happy when I finally arrived at my guest family’s house and was able to catch on some sleep. Not having to suffer from a severe jetlag was quite nice as I went to the lab the next day.
During my first two and a half weeks in the lab I was given a lot of literature and papers on basic immunology and the Immunoscore. I worked myself through, which was tough at times as the papers required knowledge about cells and biosynthesises function of intercellular pathways etc. All in all I was able to aquire new knowledge in the field and this knowledge is going to be quite helpfull when writing my paper for the TUM-Kolleg (Forschungsarbeit). Benchworkwise I was working on different types of THP1 cells. I performed an enzyme linked immunosorbant essay (ELISA) with THP1 wildtype and THP1. Staining THP1 cells with different stains produced great immages. Caputring the immages was not as easy as I thought, as a scientist and myself had to work ourselves through the manual of the Zeiss Zen immaging Software. Doing the staining and taking the pictures helped getting a better understanding about the dribble-cell interaction.
Every wednesday during the five weeks in the laboratory, I attended a bioinformatics workgroup. There I was introduced to new genome sequencing (NGS) as well as Galaxy. With Galaxy we did the windshield splatter analysis. We analyzed and filtered whole genomes collected from two windshields which had driven two different routes one north and one south of Boston. The results where interesting but yet unexpected as we hypothesized that bugs would form a group with the most hits. But that was not the case. After the two and a half weeks I switched the lab and guest family. During the second half of my stay I was taught how to perform IHC-Staining on mouse cancer and spleen tissue by another summer student. We stained for CD3(macrophages) CD8(MHC-1 TH-Cells) F4-80, Arg1 and Dapi as a positive control. The other summer student had refined and improved the previous IHC-Staining protocol which worked out great. Prior to my stay at the lab.
-Now enough about the work part of my internship-
My two guest families where very creative and generous when it came to creating nice adventures and activities during my free time. I did a bycicle ride in downtown Portland. Me and my guest father rode our bikes along side the Columbia river. In doing so we had a great view over the so familiar skyline oft he city. On another weekend we went hiking in the gorge and got to play 18 holes of golf at Meriwether. Hiking the gorge was great as I was surounded by a beautyful landscape with waterfalls, mountains and the Columbia river.
I was invited to the MLS-Alstar game, Bayern Munich played the MLS-Alstars. Singing the national anthem before kickoff and having fireworks exploding before the game was quite an experience as well as sitting almost on the field in the first row. The fact that Bayern lost did not really matter to me as it was a nice match. Getting Vodoo Doughnouts afterwards helped too.
On my second week in Portland my guest family took me to Astoria. Approximately 30Miles away from Canon Beach we enjoyed the seaside. The Pacific was way to cold to take a swim as surfers wore 5-7mm thick neoprene suits when going out in the water.The pool’s temperature though was perfect for that.
All in all, I had an incredible time in Portland again. I really enjoyed being around my friends there. I have to give them a huge thanks for having me and doing all these wonderfull activities as well as teaching me a lot of new and interesting things about the great field of tumor immunology. I can not have enough appreciation for that and them.