HeLSci: participant testimonials

April 23rd 2019

Since the centre’s creation just ten years ago, thousands have attended ULB HeLSci various training courses. Three participants tell us how the programmes have helped their careers.

‘I was able to achieve my dream!’

Hassiba, 42, production technician: ‘I was trained as an engineer, and have always loved R&D. To me, there is nothing more noble than taking part in a project that helps alleviate suffering!
After taking care of my children for a few years, I decided to get back into professional life. First I tried to find a job on my own, without much success. So I signed up to a course, 4CELLS in order to build my skills and confidence. Cell culture is fascinating, and I believe it will be essential to the medicine of tomorrow!
The course has opened many doors for me. With field visits, network building, and new skills that are in high demand in the biotech industry, I had a number of opportunities even before the programme ended. And in early 2018, I was hired at Novasep. The training course helped me achieve my dream: work in R&D.’

‘I use what I have learned every day’
Emmanuelle, 32, physician and PhD candidate at IMI: ‘I am completing a thesis in immuno-oncology on tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), which are cells that prevent the immune system from destroying cancer cells. We are attempting to produce an effective anti-cancer vaccine in a mouse model, by altering these TAMs Our results so far are very interesting!
In the beginning of my career, I knew nothing about laboratory techniques: they are not taught in medical studies. So at HeLSci I started learning certain advanced techniques. The centre’s programmes are designed and taught in such a way that the relationship between theory and practice is always clear. Their courses on flow cytometry and immunofluorescence were extremely valuable to me, and I use these techniques every day! They are what enabled me to get results.’

‘All our staff members are required to complete these courses’
Nicolas, 25, quality control expert: ‘I am in charge of training in my department at MaSTherCell. Techniques such as flow cytometry and quantitative PCR are not easy to master, yet they are an essential part of our toolkit. This is why we require our staff members to complete both programmes, which provide a valuable common set of skills. The trainers are highly experienced, and they adjust their courses to the company’s requirements. This lets us take a critical look at our own laboratory practices.
We recently tested e-learning for the 1st class on flow cytometry. It was great! As always, HeLSci courses are top notch. Plus, it makes it easier for us to organise: we can schedule online classes when it’s most convenient.’