My first days in Versailles – great chateau and impressive research facility

Dear reader,

last year I applied for an internship at two institutes, one in Versailles and one in Copenhagen, to participate in a research project aiming to dissect mechanisms of cell adhesion and to inform on the non-coding genome of plants. But I don’t want to bore you with scientific stuff now. Instead, I want to tell you about the arrival and my first days at the Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin in Versailles.

On Monday I arrived at the Institut which is located next to the beautiful garden of the Chateau of Versailles. The institut is a secured area where you only get access with a pass. I was warmly welcomed by my supervisor who helped me to get through the whole organisational stuff. I had to sign agreements to receive my own pass and get access to my accommodation which is located within the area of the Institut. As I never have learned French in school the communication to me is quite hard, if my conversational partner cannot speak English. Such problems appeared first at the supermarket when I had to pay for my purchases. But that pushes me to learn some basic French. I will keep you updated how my French skills will develop, maybe I will greet you next time in French. But in the laboratory all people and in the Institut almost all people speak good English that I am feeling comfortable to communicate with anybody. In my first days I got to know many people who are working here, even one that can speak German. As I said I am living on the terrain of the Institut and I am sharing the accommodation with 7 other guys. But not all of them moved in yet. As we have a common kitchen and common room, I am looking forward to meet them and enjoy the evenings after work. Hopefully, we play some games or just talk or go out for a drink in Versailles. A really good thing about my accommodation is that I can walk to the Institut, I am working in, in less than 5 minutes as you can see in the picture. I am living in Batiment 22, unfortunately the ballroom of versailles with its great mirrors wasn´t for rent. I would have loved to live there 😀 To see it in reality is already on the list of the things I want to do in my free time.  Spiegelsaaldatei_000-1

In the laboratory I am working together with different people. One is my supervisor Grégory Mouille, who provides me many background information on my topic I am designated to investigate. We have almost every day long lasting discussions on this topic and I am learning much in this time. He also introduces me in some laboratory work I have to do. Salem Chabout is working with me on the screening I will perform and I can ask him any question regarding the lab work. And then there is Emelie. She is working in the field of chemistry and is conducting with me an massspectrometric approach to investigate the composition of the plant´s cell wall. If you are interested in the scientific stuff I am doing here further, you can contact me personally.

I hope you got a nice overview about my life at the Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin and your are interested to find out more about my internship. Next time I will provide some information how I applied for the internship and what had to be organised before the stay.



Über Henning

Ich studiere seit dem WS 2013/14 Biowissenschaften in Münster. Im Sommer 2015 habe ich an einer Summer School für molekulare Zellbiologie teilgenommen. 2016 habe ich meine Bachelorarbeit im Bereich der Pflanzenbiologie geschrieben und anschließend den Master Biotechnologie in Münster begonnen. Im Rahmen meines Masters führe ich ein Praktikum an zwei kooperierenden Instituten in Versailles und Kopenhagen durch. Neben meinem Studium engagiere ich mich auch in der Fachschaft Biologie.

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