IES Engagement in the PREP Program at TUM Munich

IES is pleased to announce that this year three Berkeley students participated at the 10-week Practical Research Experience Program (PREP) at the Technical University in Munich (TUM), Germany. Aboubacar Komara, Bianca Filart and Shirley Li were part of a successful cohort of students who, under the supervision of TUM researchers, refined their research skills.

IES interviewed Bianca Filart, who spoke to us about her experience in Germany: I spent 3 months this summer in Munich, Germany doing research on genomic editing through the PREP program! It was such a rewarding experience and I wish I could do it all over again. It was the perfect balance of work and play, as I was able to spend all week researching and then on the weekends I traveled all over Europe. Because Munich is close to many major European cities, it was the best location to travel to and from. In my research, I worked on genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, specifically on models of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. I learned so much related to molecular biology and techniques that I am now able to apply to my research here in Berkeley. It was definitely challenging having my own research project and preparing a final research presentation at the end, but I think it was the best way to really understand what I was doing. We each had our own supervisor, which was really nice because I really got hands-on mentoring. I feel much more confident in my skills and knowledge of molecular biology, especially genetics. Aside from the work, meeting people from all over the world and traveling with them was so much fun. Although we all had different projects, we still made time after work or on the weekends to explore Germany and nearby countries. We were able to hike in the Bavarian Alps often, since it was only an hour train ride away and also visit many historic landmarks. TUM also has an international program that organizes excursions for students. Whether it was a weekend trip to Berlin or a day trip to the country’s many castles, there was always something fun for us to do. A highlight of the whole experience was just interacting with the German culture and people. It was definitely an eye-opening summer and I am very grateful to have been chosen to participate in the program. If you want a productive summer learning skills in technical research, but also want to travel and have new cultural experiences, this is the best program to participate in!

TUM International Center arranges accommodation for all program participants, and award scholarships to a limited number of Berkeley students, either undergraduate seniors or graduate students. Program duration: June 4th – August 10th, 2018 (10 weeks). For more information, you can click here or contact Sara Basurco, Program Manager PREP, at basurco@zv.tum.de