October 2019

Let’s meet half way!

Why an Uruguayan PhD-student, working in Rotterdam, and a French PhD-student, working in Leuven, decide to meet in Maastricht? Everything started from a collaboration between two CarBon ESRs: Mauricio Ferrao Blanco and Raphaëlle Lesage.

To go further in our in silico – in vitro collaborative study we had to learn to use a new in vitro model, which happened to be the expertise of another laboratory in  the orthopaedic surgery department of Maastricht University. For this reason and following the advices of our promotors, we extended our collaboration with researchers from that laboratory who offered to train us during an experiment that would account for our preliminary in vitro results. The EORS 2019 conference, hold in Maastricht few weeks before the planned training, have not only been a chance to have a lot of fun and meet new people, but also a great opportunity to discuss the last details of the extended collaboration since all parties were gathered.

The training experiment lasted 14 days during which we travelled back and forward regularly from either Leuven or Rotterdam to Maastricht. For the sake of the training, we sometimes had to stay several days in the row, in which case we stayed over in Maastricht. This was a great occasion to get to see this beautiful city of Maastricht, have some Dutch beers on the terrace of a square while savoring the famous bitterballen (Picture2 below).

Maastricht is usually described as the most ‘frenchy’ city of Netherlands, maybe because of its bridges, cobblestones and its big squares but from our perspective it looked very much Dutch and we loved it!

Thank you very much to the whole lab for the warm welcome. We are grateful to Tim and Don for the training and advices as well as to Roderick and Alzbeta for coming in the weekend and open the doors for us: science never rest!

Mauricio Ferrao Blanco & Raphaëlle Lesage