Canadian Chemokines

August 24, 2016

As we say goodbye to “summer”, we must too say goodbye to the rest of our summer placement students. Following Joan, who left in July, are three enthusiastic Immunology undergraduates: Kyle, going into his 3rd year at the University of Glasgow; and Amanda and Wendy, both 4th year students visiting from the University of Toronto.


Serious science (L-R, top row: Kyle, Angeliki, Chris K, Kenny, Fabian, Paul, Amanda; bottom row: Jenny M, Wendy).



Kyle was invited to the CRG to allow him to develop some practical lab skills and give him the experience of working within a research environment for the first time. He already loves Glasgow and has lived here for his whole life; his favourite thing being the “absolutely consistent, reliable, foreseeable, easily predictable weather that embraces us on a daily basis” (which is how I’ll describe it to our visitors from now on).


His technical project focused on knocking out production of individual CC-chemokines in a melanoma cell line using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, which can be used in the future to better understand the contribution of these chemokines to tumorigenesis and immune cell interactions with the developing tumour. Although he admits the placement was tougher than he thought it’d be (partly from learning so many new techniques, partly from the fast pace necessary for an 8-week project), he worked diligently and created a very useful cell line for the group.


Amanda and Wendy chose Glasgow as their host for an internship as part of their degree, having been first introduced to the CRG by their professor in Toronto. With a spectrum of scientific interest between them, they were well placed within the group given our diverse individual research interests; in particular, the Cavanagh group given their neuroimmunology background.


During their time here, the pair worked with the Wellcome Trust group in characterisation of inflammatory responses by CC-chemokine receptor knockout mice by sectioning and staining inflamed tissues to better understand the contribution of individual CC-chemokines in the orchestration of the immune response. In addition to this, they had CRISPR side-projects alongside Kyle, focusing on knocking out chemokine receptors in a melanoma cell line. Amanda and Wendy both gave excellent talks at the end of their placements, showing a complete understanding of everything they’ve done during their time here and the background behind it.


It makes me happy to see so many of our students enjoy themselves and benefit from their time spent in the CRG. Kyle, Amanda and Wendy were all so fun to have in the lab, and fit in really well. While I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Kyle – particularly because Gerry will be one of his lecturers next year – we’d like to wish all three of our students the very best for the future!


Serious lunch (clockwise from left: Paul, Kenny, Wendy, Amanda, Jenny L, Angeliki, Kyle, Gill, Sam).



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