ERASMUS+ practice in the BioQuant Research Center Heidelberg University

Vilmantė Žitkutė

Before my Master’s studies I was sure that I will go somewhere to do ERASMUS+ practice because my studies were taking only 1.5 year and there was a gap of 6 months before my planned enrollment for PhD studies. I finished my Master’s studies in Molecular Biology at Vilnius University and worked in Cell Biochemistry laboratory of the Institute of Biosciences for 4.5 years and I was definitely sure that I want to stay in this research field. So, I realized that Erasmus+ traineeship is the best way to fill this gap and get more skills and knowledge.

During my Master’s studies I met one Lithuanian scientist from Germany, that taught us a course and I really liked her lectures, so I decided that I would like to do my practice in her laboratory and managed to get accepted quite easily. Moreover, I wanted to make working in new laboratory related to my past and future research so I brought the chemoresistant cancer cells from Lithuania to Heidelberg and started working in the BioQuant Research Center, which is a part of Heidelberg University. Notably, the Heidelberg University is one of the best ones in Germany, so I was very excited about chance to do my traineeship there.

I worked in the Screening of Cellular Networks Laboratory with very nice and helpful team. I was involved in their project and could start experiments for my PhD project. During this half a year I gained skills of some novel to me and useful methods, like immunofluorescence microscopy or endocytosis measurement and deepened my theoretical knowledge in the cell biology. Besides, I deepened my practical skills in cultivation of the cell culture and worked with several different cancer cell lines. During the traineeship, I learnt to be more independent, to find information faster and to plan experiments by myself. This traineeship gave rise to a new collaboration between two laboratories.

Besides wonderful experience in laboratory I improved my English skills and had chance to introduce my new colleagues to Lithuania and my previous research. I met so many interesting and different people there and I had chance to get to know not only German culture but cultures of others countries as well. I did not have a lot of free time but I could travel a little and see some amazing German cities which are really beautiful and impressive with fantastic castles and churches. I was really happy to live among nice, helpful, polite and liberal people.




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