Marilena's Experience at the Oroboros Workshop 2017
The 122nd International Oroboros O2k-Workshop on high-resolution O2k-FluoRespirometry took place in a beautiful valley in the Alps of Schröcken, in Austria, from the 26th June to the 1st July 2017.
The researchers that participated came from different countries around the world: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, and USA. They were either PhD students, Postdoctoral Researchers or Principal Investigators, which made this workshop even more interesting, because we interacted with people with different experience and background levels.
During this week, we were provided with the opportunity of an extensive theoretical and practical introduction to the O2k FluoRespirometer. We were introduced to mitochondrial and cellular physiology, we learned how to assemble and disassemble the device, how to maintain and operate the O2k FluoRespirometer independently, as well as how to analyze the results obtained from the experiments we carried out. Along with other participants, Magda and I presented our individual projects (ESR 7 and ESR 11) on oral and oesophageal cancer (OOC). This was a great opportunity for us to disseminate some information to the rest of the researchers about OOC, as well as our programme, TRACT. Additionally, Dr. Erich Gnaiger and the rest of the experienced participants gave me great advice for my upcoming experiments carried out with the O2k FluoRespirometer during my secondment.
Apart from learning opportunities, we were constantly interacting with the rest of the participants. Walk-and-talk sessions were organized in order to go hiking and explore the beautiful valley of Schröcken during our lunch breaks. We also visited the beautiful and cozy Alpine Museum. During our dinner sessions we discussed and exchanged ideas about our research interests, different protocols, new techniques that we can study or even incorporate into our projects, as well as working conditions in different laboratories around the world.
From my perspective, this workshop helped me: I had no experience with the O2k FluoRespirometer and I gained a lot of hands-on training. In particular I tried some different protocols, which I can use in my experiments and I acquired a good background to start my secondment in Oroboros Instruments. It was one of the most interesting workshops that I have attended, because not only did I learn in depth about high-resolution respirometry and O2k-fluorometry, but also had the chance to spread the word about OOC. Last but not least, the fact that we interacted with scientists from different countries around the world made this experience even more interesting and challenging!