11 Nov 2019 IMU Medical Biotechnology Student Shared her Internship Experiences at Max Planck Institute, Germany
As a final year student from the Medical Biotechnology course, I could choose to do my internship anywhere in the world. I was fortunate enough to be offered a placement in Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany for 3 months. While there I was assigned a project under the supervision of Dr Susanne Tom Dieck, the staff scientist of the Synaptic Plasticity/Schuman Department. The main reason I wanted to go to Germany for my internship was because I always dreamt of studying there. I do plan on taking postgraduate studies there in the future, and conducting my internship there gave me the opportunity to test the waters.
At MPI, I have the opportunities to work on preparation of mice hippocampal and cortical neurons primary cells, puromycylation labelling, immunostaining, confocal imaging, and FISH. On top of that, I also learnt how to analyse the experimental data using Fiji/Image J.
One of the challenges of working in MPI is overcoming the knowledge gap. Since most of my colleagues are doctorate holders, and their knowledge in the field far surpasses mine, I need to put in extra effort in reading up on literature to get a grasp of the main topics discussed in lab meetings. Fortunately, literature search is common for IMU Medical Biotechnology students like me, and within a couple of weeks I was able to learn a great deal.
As laboratory technical skills are also well emphasised throughout my degree, I was able to conduct a lot of experiments with minimum supervision. As a matter of fact, my supervisor and colleagues were impressed with how quickly I learnt things. Frequent presentations had also helped me practice my data presentation skills.
Written by: Bernadette Tune Xin Jie (MB1/16)