CORVOS ESRs Clinical Secondment in Helsinki 2021

In November - December 2021​, four CORVOS Early Stage Researchers (ESR) visited Helsinki and took part in a month-long clinical secondment, together with the two local ESRs.

Professor Seppo Meri with Complement lab group hosted the Corvos Students with their own projects in parallel with clinical visits to the Helsinki University Hospital ​(HUS) and HUSLAB.

Here you can read more about the visit - the travel report of Pedro Miguel Coelho Medeiros - number 13

Corvos ESRs during their visit New Children’s Hospital, HUS - from left Mike Rezola, Pedro Miguel Coelho Medeiros, Alejandro Duque Villegas, Lisa Hurler, Carmen Chen, Hang Zhong and professor Seppo Meri.

Vis­it­ing stu­dents from Italy 2021

This summer, Complement group had eight visiting medical students from HUMANITAS University Milan, Italy. They stayed for four weeks in August - September 2021, in our laboratory.

In front of Haartman Institute from left Francesco Pesce, Marta Pagano, Erika Venerandi, Vittorio TateoSilvana Ianiro Chiara Iovine, Luigia Ferrante and professor Seppo Meri. Matteo Maroni is missing from this photo.

Each student had a project and a supervisor with whom they worked in the laboratory.

*Erika Venerandi was working on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and complement project and supervised by Eija Nissilä and Leo Starck.

*Luigia Ferrante & Marta Pagano were working on the project Interactions between apoE and complement factor H and C1q in Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis, supervised by Karita Haapasalo.

*Chiara Iovine and Matteo Moroni were working on the project Moronicomplelement System and Malaria, supervised by Mikel Rezola and Ayman Khattab.

*Silvana Ioniro was working on the Autoantibodies against cytokines in different diseases project, supervised by Eliisa Kekäläinen

*Vittorio Tateo & Francesco Pesce were working on the Follow-up of eculizumab treatment in PNH project and supervised by Seppo Meri.

Farewell breakfast in Villa Aikala with Italians and some of our group members.

New CORVOS Phd Students started in the Complement Group 2020

CORVOS, for COmplement Regulation and Variations in Opportunistic infectionS will train 15 widely recruited and highly motivated ESRs. They will fill the current scientific gap in the understanding of the role of complement in opportunistic infections, and translate this knowledge into clinical practice. ESRs will become creative alumni, all with a jointly awarded "double" PhD of two European universities and equipped with entrepreneurial and clinical skills, making them attractive human resources to academia and industry alike.

CORVOS is an ambitious pan-European initiative of 10 European universities, 5 research institutes/public health bodies, 3 biomedical companies and 3 hospitals that comprises an interdisciplinary doctoral programme including cross-sectoral secondments and training in transferable skills. CORVOS includes 12 internationally renowned multidisciplinary scientists, 8 of them members of the European Complement Network. This established organization will ensure that the high quality and efficient implementation of the CORVOS training programme will sustain after its funding and will be embedded into existing doctoral and research training programmes across Europe.

A Finnish Corvos kick-off meeting at an outdoor cafe in October 2020. Here are Professor Seppo Meri, CORVOS PhD Students Mikel Rezola from Spain and Jacob Ziegler from USA and Hang Zhong from China doing her 6 months Secondment from HUMANITAS Milano.

Visiting students from Italy 2019

This summer, Complement group had six visiting students from Milan, Italy. They stayed for three weeks in August 2019, in our laboratory.

Adrian Safa, Giorgio Ratti, Marco Ricci, Maria Cleofe Ubezio, Soumya Kotha, Maddalena Menini with Prof Seppo Meri

They were assigned to different projects performing various tasks in the lab.
Maddalena Menini was working on Malaria project with Plasmodium parasite and Anopheles mosquitoes.

Maddalena Menini with mosquitoes

Maria Cleofe Ubezio was working on a project with Dr Tobias Freitag participating in different tasks, one of them was SDS page and western blot analytical technique.

Maria Cleofe Ubezio performing western blot technique

Soumya Kotha wrote about her experience and tasks she was participating in:

"My experience in Prof Meri's lab cemented the knowledge that I gained during my preclinical years of medical school. It allowed me to delve deeper into the subjects which I find interesting and see how this knowledge translates into a more clinical narrative. I found it very interesting to work with and observe techniques such as western blotting and ELISA tests, which I had previously only read about in textbooks, as well as read many articles of literature which I found helped me understand the subject of complement and see how it related to different pathologies. Following my experience here in Helsinki, I have decided that gaining more research experience, perhaps in different fields of medicine, is something which I look forward to doing in the future."

Giorgio Ratti shared his thoughts about working in our lab:

" I analysed selected genes expressed by different microglia with presence of factor H, amyloid β and the various isoforms of apolipoproteins. I learned how to use the MST machine and took part in cell cultures and ELISA assays. Working with MST helped me to understand the different basics, how it works and try to make previsions of what would happen. Reasoning about everything is what I loved in this experience, no certainties, but just experiment everything. The more I worked hard the more the results were evident and the more I learned. Everyone was very warm to me and gave me the chance to express myself at my best. I will always be grateful for this."

Soumya Kotha, Giorgio Ratti, Adrian Safa, Marco Ricci, Maddalena Menini and Maria Cleofe Ubezio