Skip Navigation
International Programs Student Trip Reports
In keeping with Texas A&M’s Vision 2020 objective of graduating students with a global perspective based on global experiences, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences provides a limited number of travel stipends to students to help them gain international work/study experiences. The following travel reports give an overview of what our students learned while living, working, and studying abroad.
« Back to Student Trip Reports

France - Lyubov Dunina-Barkovskaya


I first went to France a year ago, when my life-long dream of studying abroad came true, and I never thought that lab work on cytoskeletal proteins would end up leading me there for a more in-depth international research experience. Dr. Conover's labConover Lab here at A&M, where I have had student worker status ever since my Freshman Year, had a few things in common with Dr. Eyer's research lab in Angers, namely that both specialize in intermediate filament research, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to discover how the research world works in a such a different, international setting. I first arrived in Angers on July 17th, and immediately received a tour of the lab and began to think about the experiments that I would begin doing the next day. The lab itself is beautiful - not only state of the art everything but also glass lab benches, colorful walls, and astounding views from the many windows rendering the use of lamps in most of the rooms entirely unnecessary. The lab included a handful of researchers, a Ph.D. student, and a couple of undergraduates working on their own projects.

RiverEvery day, I woke up every morning and crossed the scenic Maine River, castle on the shore and all, to get to the CHU - the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire - where the lab is located.  I would arrive, spend about half an hour organizing myself, then get to work. I was usually in the lab until 8 pm, with around an hour break around mid-day for lunch and coffee.  I worked closely with the Ph.D. student on this particular project, which involved fluorescent immunostaining of glial cells cultured from rat brains in order to see how they are structured, and to make observations on their functions (some of the hypothesese based on these observations will be tested here at home). I seeded cells for upcoming experiments, observing that the cancerous glioma cells grow much faster than the stellar astrocytes. I learned how to perform numerous assays on the viability of cells following treatments by different factors, such as these said peptides and various drugs, to more closely understand desmin peptide function. I mounted a very large amount of cells for microscopy, and took hundreds of photos on two different high-resolution microscopes. The big moment came when I looked at the slides under the microscope to discover, for the first time, the way the peptide was marked in that area. It was an enjoyable challenge, soaking up so much technical information and in such a short amount of time and so far away from the culture I am used to. BridgeThere was a slight language barrier, but communication on technical terms was not impeded at all, and I realized that internationally, the scientific community communicates in a standardized way. This led me to have a greater confidence in the scientific world at large. Currently I am in the process of organizing these new findings in a coherent, logical sequence, writing captions, and understanding that this data holds plenty of new discoveries.

↑ Back to Top
« Back to Student Trip Reports