Riccardo’s (shortened) secondment in Milan

Starting from CICbiomaGUNE in San Sebastian I arrived in Milan for my first secondment in order to synthesize a sugar and attaching it to a linker that I will use for decorating gold nanoparticles. Initially it has been hard to leave the place where I was used to live, leave my routine, my friends and start working in a totally new environment.

CICbiomaGUNE in San Sebastian, the center where I came from

Life in Milan is very hectic. Adapting to the rhythms of a big and chaotic city like that took some time. The university environment in Milan is very different, compared to the research centre from which I come. At first it was a bit hard to work in that environment but then I started to see all the positive facets. Fortunately my project colleague Ruth introduced me to the laboratory and facilitated the work with her helpful advices. The kindness, helpfulness and experience in the field of sugar synthesis of Prof. Luigi Lay were of great help.

Purification in progress in the lab

One of the best features of this secondment was the return to my native country. Milan is not too far from the town where I grew up, so it was nice to be able to come back in my hometown on weekends, visiting my parents, my dog and some old friends.

Unfortunately, the sanitary emergency due to the COVID-19 has significantly influenced the course of my secondment, interrupting it after a month from the beginning and influencing a lot my work. However, this experience definitely allows me to increase my working knowledge, as I learned a lot about a completely new field, but also it gave me a lot from a personal point of view.

by Riccardo Rovina (ESR 14)