Dr Rachael Moses, currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cardiff University, was a 2019 recipient of an ESDR European Skin Science Travel Award. Below she describes her experience at the Blizard Institute within Queen Mary University of London.
ESDR: What was the purpose of your visit?
Rachael Moses: To learn how to establish organotypic skin models using chronic wound fibroblasts and compare these to healthy dermal fibroblasts cultures. I visited Dr Matthew Caley at the Blizard Institute, QMUL. Given the complex nature of these cultures, Dr Caley’s input during this process was invaluable. I also learnt the sample embedding and sectioning process, along with the subsequent section staining and imaging. I also had the opportunity to visit the CRoss-InstitutE Advanced Tissue Engineering (CREATE) Lab a state of the art facility dedicated to biofabrication of advanced 3D tissues.
ESDR: How was the experience of your visit and what key things did you take back to your department?
Rachael Moses: I really enjoyed my visit, it was brilliant to learn a number of new techniques and have access to the facilities at Blizard Institute, QMUL. I was able to take the skills and knowledge required to produce these organotypic cultures back to my research group and our wider research network. I was also able to show differences in the profiles between the chronic wound fibroblast organotypic cultures compared to the normal dermal fibroblasts.
ESDR: What is your research focus over the coming year?
Rachael Moses: My research will continue to focus on assessing novel pharmaceuticals for their wound healing potential and with this new technique, I can observe their effect on a more complex 3D structure.
ESDR: Any other thoughts you wish to share?
Rachael Moses:I really appreciate this incredible opportunity, thank you to ESDR for the funding and to Dr Caley for hosting me. It was invaluable to learn those skills and brilliant to join Dr Caley’s research group for the month. During my 4 week stay in London, I was able to enjoy some of the brilliant tourist attractions London has to offer and even tried my first cronut!