Eleri Jones from the Blizard Institute in London was a 2018 recipient of ESDR’s European Skin Science Travel Awards (ESSTA). Here she talks about how she used the grant. To apply for an ESSTA grant, please visit: LINK

ESDR: What was the purpose of your visit?

ELERI JONES: …to experience working outside of the UK in a different laboratory and to learn a new scientific technique, lipidomics, to further my research skills. I visited Dr Emanuela Camera at the Laboratory of Skin Physiopathology and Integrated Centre for Metabolomics, San Gallicano Dermatologic Institute (IRCCS) in Rome. Dr Camera had agreed to teach me to generate lipid profiles of my 3D skin organotypics and knockout mouse skin using Lipidomics. This new mass spectrometry technique would further help me characterise my skin models and mouse tissue giving a more in depth skin lipid profile.

ESDR: How was the experience of your visit and what key things did you take back to your department?

ELERI JONES: I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Institute of Dermatology San Galliciano in Rome. I was able to analyse all my 3D organotypic skin models and knockout mouse tissue samples using the laboratory’s new state of the art LC-MS QTOF. Using MPP chemometrics software I was able to achieve a skin lipid profile for all of my samples, highlighting the subtle differences between the control and knockdown samples.

ESDR: What is your research focus over the coming year?

ELERI JONES: My research will continue to focus on the skin basement membrane and how this affects the lipid profile of the skin. I hope to follow up the lipidomic analysis I carried out during my visit to Rome with functional assays back in London.

ESDR: Any other thoughts you wish to share?

ELERI JONES: The ESSTA allowed me the invaluable opportunity to visit a different country and the chance to learn new skills to enhance my future in scientific research. During my 4 week stay in Rome, I had the opportunity to experience the Italian culture, a lot of pizza and pasta! As well as being able to explore the city’s various historical sites such as the Colosseum and the Vatican, I also took a day trip down to Naples to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii.