This is the title of one of the summer internships hosted by GHTM/IHMT NOVA in the scope of “Ciência Viva no Laboratório 2023”. This program, coordinated by Ana Tavares and Filipe Lopes, provided students with a remarkable opportunity to immerse themselves in the captivating realm of infectious diseases, making it an ideal starting point for budding scientists.
From 17th to 21st July, participants delved into the field of infectious diseases, with a special focus on those transmitted by insects which act as vectors. Throughout the week, students had the chance to explore the educational programs offered by IHMT. Additionally, they gained insights into entomological techniques and had hands-on experience setting traps, collecting, and mounting insects.
Furthermore, they honed their skills in various laboratory techniques, including microscopy and molecular methods such as DNA extraction and amplification. In addition to this, students acquired knowledge about the proper preservation of biological samples in a biobank and actively contributed with specimens to the IHMT entomological collection. Moreover, participants were afforded the opportunity to observe other vectors or reservoirs of disease agents, providing them with a comprehensive insight into the daily activities of researchers in this field.
As mentioned by Ana Tavares, VBD Research Group, “this studentship program provides a fantastic opportunity for young minds to gain firsthand experience in vector-borne diseases research and biobanking. The practical activities and exposure to our cutting-edge facilities offer a unique insight into this important field”.
Filipe Lopes, VDB Research Group, commented that “we aim to inspire the next generation of scientists and give them the tools and knowledge to contribute to the fight against infectious diseases. It’s been a pleasure working with these enthusiastic students”.
Isabel Maurício, also a VBD Research Group and a collaborator of the internship, shared her perspective by saying that “student learned about master’s and PhD degree distinctions, as well as engaged with the institution’s postgraduate programs, gaining insights into potential academic and research paths in health and tropical medicine”.
This Ciência Viva studentship has been an eye-opening journey into the world of infectious diseases and their vectors. As the students complete their program, they take with them a wealth of knowledge and practical experience that will undoubtedly shape their future in the field of science.
«Ciência Viva» is the branded name of the Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, meaning «Live Science».