13/06/2023 - 17h15

PUCRS researchers work at Linnaeus University, in Sweden

Professor Renata Medina da Silva and doctorate student Amanda Simão Dias strengthen partnership and develop new research projects with the Swedish university

Photo: Archive personal

The partnership between PUCRS and Linnaeus University (LNU), from Sweden, has become continuously stronger over the years. New unfoldings and connections have led to the development of research projects in the field of environmental microbiology, resulting in different publications, in addition to student and professor mobility between both institutions. In 2023, professor and researcher from the School of Health and Life Sciences Renata Medina da Silva and doctorate student from the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology Amanda Simão Dias went to Linnaeus University, with the incentive of PUCRS’s CAPES-PrInt Program.

Professor Renata went on a work mission, in May, to consolidate the research partnership and to broaden cooperation possibilities in different fields of knowledge. The professor has a connection with the university since 2018 and, now, she develops studies with LNU’s Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial Model Systems, coordinated by researcher Hanna Farnelid. With the work mission, the PUCRS researcher could take part in the work routine of Dr. Farnelid’s group and set in motion a joint project.

Renata is advisor of the doctorate student Amanda Simão Dias, who is taking her sandwich doctorate through the PUCRS-PrInt Program at LNU, supervised by researcher Hanna Farnelid. With professor Renata’s work mission, the three researchers were able to meet to discuss Amanda’s experiments, to make adjustments and align goals. The PUCRS doctorate students is assessing the profile of marine bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics, for her thesis on the impact of the consumption of these medications in the marine environment.

Sandwich Doctorate Linnaeus University

The doctorate student Amanda is spending one semester in professor Hanna Farnelid’s researcher center at LNU. Through the PUCRS-PrInt Program, the student from the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology is assessing the expression of some resistance genes in marine bacteria in different conditions (change of nutrients and temperature), trying to come close to a more “natural” condition found in oceans and seeing if the expression of these genes is somehow altered when in an environment that is more similar to the original. To complement these analyses, the LNU laboratory provided an opportunity for sequencing the genome of these bacteria.

The doctorate student explains that genomic sequencing in Brazil is expensive, but in Sweden it is more common and accessible. With that, the opportunity has added a lot in Amanda’s academic journey and provided important data for future research carried out at PUCRS’s Laboratory of Immunology and Microbiology. According to her, once sequenced, the genome is “eternal”, and the result can be studied in various approaches.

“Sweden is a calm and safe country that invests in scientific research and is concerned with the future of the environment and the impact we are causing in it, because of this I can confirm there is no country that is more aligned with my research goals than Sweden. I am very satisfied with my research and I thank my advisor, the PRINT program and CAPES for the opportunity of expanding my research and adding impact to it,” highlighted the researcher.

Work Mission and new partnerships

Over the course of 12 days, professor Renata was able to discuss new potential partnerships with other researchers from the same LNU research field in microbiology, like professors Karin Holmfeldt and Catherine Legrand. In addition, the professor introduced PUCRS, the PrInt program and the goals of all its PCIs to the person in charge of the University’s internationalization department. According to the researcher, this offered a rich exchange of information and a diagnosis regarding new potential research partnerships between PUCRS and LNU.

In addition, Renata was able to participate in a seminar of papers by doctorates from LNU’s department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, which broadened her knowledge on projects the university is developing in the areas of biodiversity and ecology. The professor also gave a lecture for professors and students from this same department, in which she talked about PUCRS, general information on the country and the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and research projects she develops in the University in the field of environmental microbiology.

“The work Mission at Linnaeus University I took part in through PUCRS-Print was an excellent and fruitful experience, because it promoted the maturing of the PUCRS’s relationship with LNU, an important understanding of its great disposition and structure to welcome foreign researchers and students and, mostly, the creation of new opportunities for colleagues and students from PUCRS who wish to interact with this excellent and welcoming Swedish university,” concluded Renata.


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