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My internship at APC Microbiome Institute

By Lydia Iglesias Sánchez, Salamanca, Spain.


It has been a great pleasure to experience what it is like to work in a research institute like the APC Microbiome Institute.

I was awarded a fellowship to promote, support and inspire the talent of young students getting them in contact with advanced research.  I spent two weeks helping Dr. María Esteban Torres, in the group of Professor Douwe van Sinderen, with her research focused on carbohydrate assimilation in bifidobacteria.  I really enjoyed my stay in the lab.  I learnt lots of new techniques which, for sure, will be really useful in my development as a future scientist.

I am from Salamanca, a city in the centre of Spain with a well-known university. I am about to start my Biotechnology degree in the University of Salamanca and this experience has been an excellent training for my laboratory skills.  Thanks to the fellowship I received from my home town to come to the APC, I have been introduced to research and laboratory work and I have realized I want to work as a researcher in the near future.

My stay at the APC has been extremely useful for me as I have acquired laboratory skills and independent thinking, as well as knowledge about laboratory equipment and safety skills. Besides, I have had the opportunity to carry out some experiments, helped by María, on the growth of several species of the genus Bifidobacterium on different sugars and to analyse the results, which I found extremely interesting.

I had a great time in Cork, enjoying my free time and visiting the city, which I found really lively.  I have also had time to travel around this fascinating country, visiting Blarney Castle, Cobh and the Cliffs of Moher, where I experienced the typical Irish weather. I had time to experience the Irish lifestyle, trying typical dishes like the Irish breakfast and drinking tea too.

I hope I can come back when I finish my degree as the APC work environment has greatly surprised me because of how pleasant and rewarding it is, as well as being able to meet scientists from all over the world sharing their knowledge.