Short Term Scientific Mission grants 2019-20

Feedback from the individuals granted Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) grants for 2019–2020

Natalia Grigorova

"I was waiting a long time or current STSM approval, due to the Brexit and subsequent changes of COST organization. My STSM started during the storm "Sabine," when I traveled to the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany, and ended on the day that Germany closed its borders because of the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless of the complications, if I had the opportunity to come back and make a choice whether or not to participate in this STSM, I would definitely say "YES."

This STSM has been an especially valuable experience for my future professional career. I learned a lot of new techniques and protocols, and I made my first steps in the development of a successful 3D protocol of rabbit ADSCs cultivation.

I am incredibly grateful to Professor Anne Navarrete Santos, Dr Alexander Navarrete Santos, Dr Juliane-Susanne Jung, and Jennifer Kopietz for sharing their knowledge and skills, but also for their great humanity, friendliness, and empathy, which are extremely important during this difficult times for all of us.

Thank the Celfit for the opportunity and the support I was given, despite the complicated global situation."

Martina Štampar

"For me, the STSM represents a great personal experience, which enriched my professional knowledge. I learned a lot of new things and I had the chance to meet incredible people, who showed me the Danish way of life.

During my stay at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense I learned new techniques for the development of three-dimensional (3D) cell models, which, after returning to Slovenia, I successfully implemented in our laboratory. From the obtained results we prepared a scientific paper that will represent an important milestone in genetic toxicology. There are not many studies describing the use of 3D cell models for the assessment of genotoxic activity of xenobiotic compounds. All these would not be possible without the fruitful collaboration between the National Institute for Biology and University of Southern Denmark, as well as my supervisors, which continues to this date and will hopefully provide further important scientific discoveries.

Finally I have to thank my lab colleagues and friends in Denmark, who accepted me and made me feel included."

Stefania D’Agostino

"The STSM was for me a great experience from every point of view; I could really appreciate the beauty and the value of difference and variety: working in a different lab and meeting international researches, practicing with new sophisticated technologies and living in a different context with people from all over the world. All these elements inspired me to bring new ideas and positive energy to my work and everyday life.

I attach [to this email] the most important pictures for me: in the first two you can see all the amazing people I met during my stay in Waedenswil, my lab team and my flat mates. In the third one you can see the stunning view from my office window. In the fourth one I'm laughing at one of Professor Raghunath's jokes right before one of his talks during a conference. He's a great researcher and a great man, it was such an inspiration for me to work with him."