ESR report on the QIAGEN training course, April 5th and 6th 2022
by Lejla Emini (TUD)
The QIAGEN training course was hosted by Gabriele Christoffel at QIAGEN at Hilden, Germany and had Andreas Hecker, Francesca Di Pasquale and Daniel Lehmann as guest speakers.
The workshop was held in-person over two days focusing on “from sample to insight walk-through of a miRNA workflow”. During the workshop, a combined strategy of theoretical and practical sessions was used. On our first day we had a short safety instruction followed by a talk from Andreas Hecker, introducing us to RNA isolation from different starting materials and its main challenges. Furthermore, Daniel Lehman also gave a talk on how to quantify the quality and purity of RNA and how to apply the QIAxcel instrument for this purpose only. Both theoretical sessions were followed by practical sessions where we had the opportunity to be in the lab and isolate RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens using the EZ2 instrument and from cells using the miRNeasy advanced tissue/cell mini kit. During the last part of the session, we ended the day determining the quality and the purity of the isolated RNA using the QIAxcel tool. On our last day Francesca di Pascale gave us an introduction to PCR, more specifically to digital PCR. After her talk we went to the lab for our last time to perform cDNA synthesis from our isolated RNA and once cDNA was prepped this was followed by QIAGENS’s fully integrated nano-plate based digital PCR system. The day ended with Markus Stockbeck giving a talk about Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). Overall, the workshop was well-structured and well-organized by the QIAGEN team.
We all enjoyed the course a lot. We found a great value being able to have our very first workshop in the industry. This exposed us to a slightly different environment than what we usually are exposed to on our daily basis being in academia. Besides giving us an excellent overview of RNA and microRNA workflow and their challenges the workshop in QIAGEN also succeeded in giving us a taste of marketing, sales and quality control. Sparking an interest for those that would like to pursue a future career in the industry.