Internship at Danish Cancer Society Research Center

During the second half of my Biochemistry BSc studies at Vilnius University, I was seeking for opportunities to get in touch with foreign researchers; in my opinion, the best way to do so is to engage in research with them – finding scientists who would be willing to take me in as a student for an internship. To be honest, all my expectations were fulfilled when the Cell Stress and Survival Unit of Danish Cancer Society Research Center (DCRC), led by Prof Francesco Cecconi, accepted my proposal to spend some time in their research group. I am extremely grateful to my supervisor, Dr Valentina Cianfanelli, and all the people at the Cell Stress and Survival Unit for those unforgettable four months in Copenhagen.

As expected from a leading research group in their topic in one of the best Scandinavian research institutes, I was given an opportunity to gain a multitude of new skills in incredibly short time: starting with previously unknown to me wet-lab techniques and finishing with employment of number of in silico methods to accompany the biological experiments. However, I think that I benefited the most from my new or improved abilities to design and conduct experiments, perform the analysis of data collected and, most important, draw conclusions and propose the explanation for the phenomena observed. With a huge help from my supervisor, I was also taught how to perform the experiments with the fraction of independent work gradually increasing, thus, after some time, allowing me to plan and conduct the research just by receiving tasks – even without physical presence of the supervisor. The ability to design my own work schedule enabled me to explore the wonderful city of Copenhagen, during the internship period.

Great part of my free time was devoted to getting acquainted with the beauty of the hosting city, resulting in more than 3000 kilometres of bicycle rides — from everyday travels to the DCRC and back, late-evening slow rides across the Old Town of Copenhagen to driving to meet friends in the suburbs. Containing a number of excellent pubs and cafés, parks, stadiums and other green areas and a lot of other places to meet and spend time, Copenhagen is an astonishing city to live; besides all that, now hosting a piece of my heart, as I left a great number of friends and acquaintances there. The people I met have done a huge work to show me the best of living in Copenhagen and make my experience of the internship even more awesome — even though sometimes I thought it would not be possible for it to be any better. Helping me overcome the little and not so little burdens of life, they deserve a credit for being a valuable comrades during my stay and afterwards.

For all of this, once again, I would like to thank Valentina and all the people at DCRC, who believed in the prospects of a successful collaboration, thus allowing this internship to happen. Besides, I am really grateful to Partners4value for their support.

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