A Travelling Fellowship from Disease Models & Mechanisms gave Natalie Matosin a unique opportunity to join a project within the Schmidt group at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. The project built on the group’s work on the role of mGluR5/Homer1 linkages in animal models of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
This opportunity enabled Natalie not only to collaborate with the ‘Neurobiology of Stress’ Schmidt group on their paper, but also to learn the techniques she required to complete projects at her home institution (University of Wollongong, Australia).
Together with Dr Klaus Wagner and Dr Nils Gassen, Natalie was able to complete a co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) of the mGluR5/Homer1 linkages in brain tissue from mice subjected to the chronic social defeat stress paradigm. Furthermore, with analysis of the literature and exploratory experimentation, she discovered a new signalling partner with which mGluR5 interacts.
The experience helped Natalie to learn many different experimental techniques, both within and beyond her immediate laboratory group. This included Co-IP, membrane fractionating, western blotting, immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridisation. Also, she was able to increase her understanding of animal handling and behavioural experimentation, and to join guest lectures to broaden her knowledge.
This opportunity exposed Natalie to new ideas and built the foundation of future collaboration with the Schmidt group at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. It also helped Natalie to secure a post-doctoral position in Munich and the publication of her research.