International Secondment Award for Remsha Afzal

I haven’t started my secondment yet but plan on going in September 2019, when I’ll be travelling to University Hospital Basel to work in the lab of Prof. Christoph Hess (Department of Biomedicine) for 3 months, using the secondment award totalling 3000 euro.

I feel fortunate to go work in his lab because he is an expert in the field of immunometabolism and has published over 100 papers, including in high-ranking journals such as Cell Metabolism and Nature Immunology. He was also the convener of Cell’s Translational Immunometabolism Symposium in June 2018, which I attended last year.

Since the Hess lab is well-versed in studying mechanisms of immune cell function, I hope to acquire some valuable skills used to study immune cell metabolism, such as Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Proximity Ligation assays. Their department also has access to state-of-the-art core facilities, where I will observe and gain experience in the use of Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and the Nanolive® Holotomographic microscope, two instruments that have allowed the Hess team to pursue innovative investigations.

Remsha Afzal

Dublin to Vietnam Cyclathon

Go all the way from Dublin to Vietnam on a bicycle? That would be a ‘Mission Impossible’. But impossible is a word that does not match well with the name of Christina Noble. Her life story was against all odds. And her Children’s Foundation (CNCF) continues to amaze. So it seems an appropriate idea for the CNCF to organize a fundraising cycle event under this motto. And several RCSI employees and members of MCT rose to the challenge! 

Saturday, June 8th, just after noon: six stationary bikes in King Street South were awaiting volunteer cyclists. The stakes were high: the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Seven Rugby Squad had spun the wheels, making over 53 km mileage in just half an hour. “Team RCSI” was in good mood to advance the peloton further and get the attention and support from Dubliners and tourists walking by. Taking over four bikes for one hour, we had great fun and a good workout, contributing many more miles and raising some spontaneous donations. Thanks to a generous gift from Niamh Moran, each of us went home not only with the feeling of having made a tiny contribution to a great cause but also with some delicious bread to replenish the burnt carbohydrates.

From left to right: Olga Piskareva, Maria Morgan, Niamh Moran, Ingmar Schoen, Orna Tighe, Sudipto Das

I would like to use this occasion to say ’Go raibh mile maith agaibh’ to all volunteers and supporters on the day, beforehand and beyond – you are fantastic! It is great that so many colleagues from MCT helped to make this day a success for the CNCF. The raised money will be help to continue the CNCF’s work in the Sunshine Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, providing a loving and caring environment for children that restores their dignity and trust.
For those who missed the opportunity: our Cyclathon fundraising website is still open for another two weeks https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11377220_team-rcsi.html. And there will be more occasions coming up in the near future.
Ingmar Schoen