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Evelien Eenjes received NRS Travel Grant

Travel grants September 2017

Thanks to the NRS travel grant I was able to attend the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Congres (GRC) about Lung development, injury and repair in New London, USA.

I am a PhD student in the group of Robbert Rottier at the Erasmus MC – Sophia children hospital. In my project, I focus on the differentiation of the different cell types of the airway epithelium. During the GRS and GRC I presented a poster of my work on an in vitro culture system of airway epithelial cells. The data that I presented was well received and there was interest in using this method in other research groups. Furthermore, these poster sessions allowed interactions with fellow researches about their experience on the use of cell culture systems.

The GRS is well known as introduction for the GRC were young scientist come together and present their work to each other. I really appreciated attending the GRS where a mentor ship session was included which lead to discussion about future careers in academia, industry and government.

At the GRC, leaders in the field presented their latest work which provided an opportunity to learn what is novel in the lung field. One of the talks of interest was of Professor Tata from the Duke University of Medicine, which showed a new stem cell population in the trachea of mouse that repopulates airway epithelium after injury. This described stem cell population seems to have similarities with the cells that we identified in our culture system. Multiple talks during the GRC included single cell sequencing and identified new population of cells in the lung. To confirm the single cell sequencing, Professor Desai from Stanford University presented a novel method were a single tissue section can be marked with an unlimited number of markers. In this way, it is possible to visualize the single cell sequencing data. In my project, we are interested in single cell sequencing and we can use this novel technique to confirm our data.

In conclusion, the seminars and poster sessions of the GRC and GRS gave me new perspectives on lung development and regeneration. Furthermore, I was able to broaden my scientific network which will help me in the further progress of my scientific career.

Evelien Eenjes
Sophia Children's Hospital Erasmus MC