Elham experience in “Methods in macromolecular crystallisation” course in Czech Republic

elham rognée 2– Why did you take part in this event? (Describe your participation)

“Methods in macromolecular crystallization” is one of the FEBS advanced courses that is held in Nove Hrady, Czech Republic. This course was about different methods in crystallization and in crystallography studies. It was completely related to my thesis and gave me a general understanding of various methods in crystallization of the protein, in methods for studying their structure and troubleshooting. During our PhD, we will use 2 or 3 methods for crystallizing the proteins but in general I believe, we need to have at least basic knowledge about all the methods for studying the protein. Meet the experts in this area it is also valuable for our PhD. For me, participating in this course was an opportunity to learn different methods, talk with experts in this area and find out about the latest advances in this field.

– What was the most exciting presentation/lecture/event you attended/took part in? Tell us why?

Most of the lectures were really exciting and in overall you could learn the advantages and disadvantages of the methods that are used in the crystallization of the protein. For example till now I have used vapour diffusion and dialysis methods and in the “Methods in macromolecular crystallization” course, I learned how we can grow crystals in the capillary, or by using the magnetic field, etc. In one of the presentations, the lecturer introduced a way they have developed for fluorescently viewing the crystals by using the camera of a smart –phone. I really enjoyed the idea and realized that sometimes we don’t need to expend so much money to do something special, we just need to be creative and find a way to solve the problem.

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– In your participation, is there something you would do differently? If yes, what and why?

I tried to actively participate in the lectures and practicals and get as much information as I could. But the subjects of some lectures were completely new for me and I had no background on them. For example, the lecture about cryoEM was really interesting but the topic was new for me. I am sure that if I had read some papers before participating in this course I could have learned more information. The good part is that we received all the course materials after the lectures so I can use the information and learn those parts.

– What did you enjoy most (scientific and non-scientific)?

Something that I really enjoyed in this course was the discussion part. During the break time, after lunch and dinner time we had the opportunity to talk with professors, lecturers and other students. Most of the discussions were about the different obstacles that students had encountered during their experiments. I think those discussions were as important as the lectures.

– Has this experience encouraged you to actively participate in other events of this kind? And if so, when and where do you plan to go and what are you going to do there?

I enjoyed this course since I learned various methods related to protein crystallization and crystallography. I really like this kind of training and I am sure if I find some more courses like this I will participate in them.