My Research Stay in Seattle

Franziska at Kerry Park with Seattle city skyline in the background

Columbia Tower View

Seattle Space Needle

by Franziska Schuster

The research stay abroad, which is part of the GRK1957’s curriculum, gave me the opportunity to go to Seattle and work in the lab of Dr. William Banks. He is one of the leading experts in blood-brain barrier (BBB) research worldwide. The major focus of the Banks laboratory is how brain and body communicate with one another through the transfer of molecules across the BBB. Everybody here is very kind and I’m lucky to be in a lab that is highly established and well equipped, providing knowledge, experience and many things to learn.

My PhD project focuses on how blocking the renin angiotensin system can prevent obesity despite a high caloric diet. The question I’m hoping to answer now in Seattle is if leptin uptake across the BBB is changed by angiotensin receptor blockers. Dr. Banks is an absolute expert on BBB transport and I learned to perform leptin uptake studies in his lab.

Apart from the professional gain for my PhD project, the research stay in Seattle is also a great experience personally. Being abroad and experiencing a different culture is so exciting and broadens your view on the world. And I get to see a lot of cool sights in a beautiful city!