Training Events

Blood-Brain Barrier Consortium Meeting

I’ve been attending the biannual blood-brain barrier consortium organized by Prof. Joan Abbott, Dr David Begley, Dr Jane Preston and Dr Nacho Romero at King’s College London. This consortium was founded in 1997 and brings together key players from industry and academia. Attending the club members meeting as well as the symposium is always a great chance to interact with the experts, hear about recent advances and obstacles still to be overcome.

Anne Iltzsche

Electron microscopy training

Electron microscopy is an integral part of my project in aiming to localize the HSA nanoparticles in the mouse brain tissue. I have been trained at the Centre for Ultrastructural Imaging at King’s College London which does not only give me full control over the sample preparation but also an in depth understanding of this challenging technique.

EM image PathChooser

Electron micrograph showing ultrastructure of cortical mouse brain tissue. Synapses can be seen with the characteristic postsynaptic densities along the synaptic cleft and axon terminals containing spherical vesicles. The dendritic spine forms two asymmetric synapses with axon terminals. Mitochondria and their double membrane can be seen with the inner membrane folding inwards forming cristae. A longitudinally sectioned myelinated axon shows neurofilaments in the axoplasm and multiple layers of myelin sheath surrounding the axolemma. (A. Iltzsche & D. Begley, unpublished data)

Anne Iltzsche

PathChooser Marie Curie ITN attends 11th Conference and Workshop on Biological Barriers and holds consortium and Fellow satellite meeting. For further details see

University College Dublin fellows Diana Hudecz and Luciana Herda attended:

Sci:Com 2015

9th of December 2015


Sci:Com 2015 science communication conference was held in Athlone, Ireland and offered an exciting day of talks, panel discussions, and networking with inspirational speakers working in areas like public engagement, industry engagement, impact analysis and more.

University College Dublin fellows Diana Hudecz and Luciana Herda attended:

“How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Horizon 2020”

3rd September 2015

This half day training event was held by Sean McCarthy from Hyperion, Ireland. The training described the relevance of Horizon 2020 to EU policies, the common problems in proposal writing and the success criteria for proposals. It was a really interesting and useful training course.

Commercial Awareness Workshop – PathChooser Training event

University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. April 29, 2015

The training was held during PathChooser Consortium Meeting and all appointed fellows participated. Workshop leaders: Dr Jo Oliver and Dr Colin Wilde from AvantiCell Science Ltd.

  • Team-building
  • Workshop on
    • Technology Audit
    • IP Generation and Strategy
    • Commercial Proposition
    • Fund raising
    • Money management
    • Case study – Building a Life Science Business
  • Fellows’ own commercial proposition (individual assignment)

University of Bristol fellow, Catherine Gilmore attended:

Does my research make sense to you? Communicating and presenting training.

19th May 2015

This half-day workshop run by communications specialist, Ed Drewitt, was designed to help post-graduate students to write about or present their research in an engaging way. Some of the practical skills learnt during this workshop were:

  • Identification of key themes in your research
  • How to de-jargonise your research so as to appeal to different audiences
  • Choosing suitable content for particular audiences.

Luciana Herda University College Dublin fellow, attended:

Attana Step I Course, Stockholm, Sweden 18-19 March 2015

This 2-day course was held on the premises of Attana AB ( ) and covered the basics of the Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) technology, operation of the Attana® System, basic biosensor assay development, data evaluation and maintenance procedures. QCM is a label-free, real-time analytical technique that can be employed to monitor molecular interactions at the nanoscale (biochemical, cell-based and nanoparticle assays).

Kings College London Fellow, Anne Iltzsche attended:

13th International postgraduate course on lysosomal storage diseases

June 1st-6th, 2014

Rare medical conditions suffer from a severe lack of awareness leading to delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment efforts. This postgraduate course annually brings together experts, practising clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and family associations of lysosomal storage disorders. Cases of patients were discussed, new treatment approaches evaluated and important interdisciplinary connections made.

King’s College In Vitro Blood-Brain Barrier Cell Culture Course

The blood-brain barrier is formed by cerebral endothelial cells lining cerebral capillaries with the support of percicytes and astrocytes providing a stable microenvironment of the central nervous system (CNS) and neuroprotection. Its role as the major interface between blood and brain puts it in the focus of major research efforts, including drug delivery and brain targeting. In April 2014, Diána Hudecz (UCD Marie Curie Fellow) and Anne Iltzsche (KCL Marie Curie Fellow) attended a course on the use of in vitro models of the blood-brain barrier at King’s College London. Special focus was on the primary cultured porcine brain endothelial cell (PBEC) model mimicking key features of the BBB [1,2] which proved to be a valuable model for a variety of applications, including assessment of drug permeability and BBB pathology. The course was hosted and Prof. N. Joan Abbott.

[1] A. Patabendige, RA. Skinner, L. Morgan, NJ. Abbott, Establishment of a simplified in vitro porcine blood–brain barrier model with high transendothelial electrical resistance, Brain Res. 1521(100): 1–15, 2013

[2] A. Patabendige, RA. Skinner, L. Morgan, NJ. Abbott, A detailed method for preparation of a functional and flexible blood-brain barrier model using porcine brain endothelial cells, Brain Res. 1521:16-30, 2013


Some of the participants of King’s College in vitro Blood-Brain Barrier Cell Culture Course.

Some of the participants of King’s College in vitro Blood-Brain Barrier Cell Culture Course.