I’m Que from Viet Nam, one of the early stage researchers in the PROTECTED project. One thing I really like from the project is the opportunity to go training and make connections with other people inside and outside the network. I have just completed my secondment in Valencia, Spain in March and from there headed directly for the Applied In Vitro Toxicology Course in Utrecht, the Netherlands in April. I have gained a lot from these secondments, not only scientific knowledge, but also new experiences and made new friends all over the world.

This course is organized by the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) and has 25 participants specializing in different fields with the common interest in in vitro toxicology. Some of the participants work as regulatory toxicologists from public or private companies; some others, just like me, are at the beginning of their careers working as PhD students. The course is really well organized, with leading speakers from the field. We attended a social event and dinners to network with people before the course started; that helped us to become more open and connected. Indeed, such diversities, promote connections among people in different sectors and stimulate sharing knowledge. Furthermore, it gives different points of view to evaluate research in in vitro toxicology, drawing the whole picture from different angles.

I have learnt so much about legislation, i.e. OECD guidance document on Good In Vitro Method Practices (GIVIMP) and also about the updating information in in vitro toxicology, applying kinetics and stem cells, as well as the strong and weak points of applying in vitro in toxicology. It gives me a perspective for the future of applying in vitro in toxicology and also a step further to shape my PhD in general and my career in the long run.

Although I started to miss my own bed from the long travelling, I really enjoyed meeting people from different background and learnt so much about in vitro toxicology. In addition, Utrecht is a lovely city, especially in spring time, and we had a good weather there.

Now, I have come back to Liege and wait for my next journeys for SETAC conference in May, Rome, Italy and can’t wait for my next secondment in Belfast, Northern Ireland in June and July. A busy year for me but so much fun.


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