Genetics Research and Laboratory Techniques

Bachelor in Biology at University of Innsbruck

In her Biology undergraduate degree at Uni Innsbruck Theresa chose two focus topics: zoology and molecular biology. There she got the chance to rotate through several research groups doing laboratory practical courses, among those

  • a Basic Laboratory Techniques practical course in which she learned the basics of chemical calculations, weighing and pipetting, cell lysis methods, photometric protein and nucleic acid determination, handling acids, bases and buffers, cryoscopy, filtration, centrifugation and chromatographic methods.
  • a Basic Microbiology practical course in which different culture media were prepared, microorganisms were extracted from various samples and sterile culturing conditions were trained.
  • a Basic Molecular Biology practical course taught me basic PCR techniques, DNA extraction and purification methods, TA-cloning, transformation, plasmid preparation, analytical DNA digests and gel electrophoresis.
  • a Molecular Cell Biology practical course in the group of David Teis at Medical University Innsbruck, in which we investigated mutations in (MVB) pathway genes. For this we generated yeast knock-out and knock-in strains by PCR-based homologous recombination, did mating type tests and tetrad dissection and created double mutants through mating. We transfected yeast with GFP-tagged contructs of the proteins of interest and performed fluorescence widefield microscopy. We also transformed MVB pathway genes into E.coli, IPTG protein expression and purification, FPLC as well as coomassie staining and SDS-PAGE.
  • a Cell Physiology practical course with Adolf Sandbichler at the Institute of Zoology at University of Innsbruck, in which we were working with wildtype and CLOCK mutant zebrafish embryonic fibroblast cell lines, cultured under both light/dark cycle conditions or constant dark conditions. For this we used a Bionas 2500 Analyzing System to determine acidification, oxygen consumption and cell adhesion. Among cell cuture passaging and cell counting through tryptan blue staining, we did Phalloidin (F-actin), Hoechst (nuclei) and Mitotracker (mitochondria) stainings and anaylzed cell morphology using laser scanning confocal microscopy.
  • a Genomics practical course with Norbert Polacek (now in Bern) at Medical University Innsbruck, in which we cultured organisms from all three domains of life, bacteria, archea and eucaryotes, and purified their genomic DNA. We isolated 70S ribosomes from T.aquaticus through sucrose gradient centrifugation and tested the ribosomal activity through a puromycin reaction and their GTPase activity through the detection of radioactively labelled GTP on a thin layer chromatography .
  • several practical courses on Advanced Molecular Biology Techniques and Developmental Biology in the group of Dirk Meyer at the Institute for Molecular Biology at University of Innsbruck. Working with Dirk and his team greatly contributed to my fascination with genetics and with the amazing zebrafish model organism. It was in these practical courses that became very familiar with basic and advanced molecular cloning techniques, both ligation- and recombination-based, PCR and in vitro transcription. I learned how to use microinjection, in situ hybridization as well as proliferation and apoptosis assays to scrutinize the embryonic development of zebrafish.

In these practical trainings I fell in love with the zebrafish model and picked Dirk Meyer’s lab for my Bachelor thesis work. Here, I subcloned the genetically encoded calcium indicators GCaMP4 and GCaMP4.1 under the control of pancreatic beta-cell specific promoters of the hb9/mnx1 and ins genes using Gateway cloning. I then co-injected the constructs with Tol2 recombinase into fertilized zebrafish eggs to generate stable transgenic zebrafish lines in which the insulin release in pancreatic beta-cells (which is coupled to high cyosolic calcium levels) can be monitored with fluorescence microscopy.

Master in Molecular Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and Master thesis at the Institute for Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute Stockholm

In her Masters degree in Molecular Medicine at Trinity College Dublin Theresa deepened her understanding of Human Genetics, Molecular Mechnisms of Human Disease, Oncology as well as Immunology and Infectious Biology. I practical courses she performed ELISAs, Flow Cytometry, Western Blots and High Content Screening Analysis using the IN Cell Analyzer 1000.

Theresa did her Master thesis with Dagmar Galter at Lars Olson’s group in the Instititue for Neuroscience of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Here she scutinized the role of MAGI proteins during mammalian neuronal development through in situ hybridization and studied a genetic variant of MAGI1 from a bipolar patient in cultured lymphocytes using qPCR.

PhD in Molecular Medicine at the Developmental Biology Department at University of Freiburg

[more coming soon]

Postdoc at the Pediatric Genetics unit at University Hospital Freiburg

[more coming soon]

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