Two GLIOTRAIN ESRs visit Erasmus MC in Rotterdam

Two of our ESRs, Viktorija (RCSI) and Chiara (Univeristy of Stuttgart) visited Erasmus MC in Rotterdam for 2 days' training in Cell culture techniques last week. Thanks to Dr Martine Lamfers for this excellent opportunity and thanks for our two Erasmus MC ESRs (Ioannis and Federica) and for showing Viktorija and Chiara around Rotterdam!

15&16 February, 2018 Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam: Ready for primary Glioblastoma cell culture!

As a part of the GLIOTRAIN network, Viktorija and Chiara’s main goals are to investigate the ability of Glioblastomas (GBM) to resist cell death by a pathway known as "apoptosis". Apoptosis is a cellular process that aims to eliminate damaged or abnormal cells including cancer cells. If cancer cells can avoid apoptosis they will continue to grow, so this makes the apoptosis pathway very interesting to researchers. Using a computer based "systems modelling" approach our aim is to predict the treatment responsiveness for different subtypes of GBM. After predictions have been made, the response needs to be tested in GBM cells in the lab. Working at RCSI (Viktorija) and University of Stuttgart (Chiara) it is crucial for the progress of both projects to be able to successfully propagate human GBM cells in the lab or "in vitro", so that the cells can be used in our experiments. Cultivation conditions of cancer cells critically affect their behaviour in vitro and therefore experiment results. The cells that we require in our projects are very difficult to grow in vitro as they require very specific conditions (e.g. nutrients). The cells are successfully maintained at Erasmus MC and so in order to be able to work with primary GBM cells at RCSI and University of Stuttgart, we went for 2 days of training at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in the lab of Dr Martine Lamfers. The amazing Cassandra Verheul taught us how to maintain patient-derived GBM primary cell lines with state-of-the-art cultivation techniques and the protocol we learnt will allow us to preserve the biological state of the cells and ensure the reproducibility of our experiments. We are now able to establish cell cultures in our respective labs in Dublin and Stuttgart and get started with our research projects! We are very thankful to Dr. Lamfers for hosting us and Cassandra for sharing her knowledge with us! Thanks also to our fellows ESRs Ioannis and Federica for the good time spent together!