I have spent one year in the laboratory at the Department of Neurology of the University Hospital of Würzburg (the head of laboratory is Prof. Dr. Claudia Sommer). During this time, I was supported by a stipend granted by the European Federation of Neurological Societies, which I was fortunate to receive in 2014.
The main aim was to learn clinical and basic laboratory techniques. I had unique opportunities to learn following methods in the well-equipped laboratory: immunohistochemistry and analysis of stained section, cell culture of primary skin cells, cryopreservation of human cells, ELISA, RNA extraction procedures, and qRT PCR of human and animal tissue. Colleagues from the Prof. Sommer`s laboratory use extensively the histological methods for pre- and posttreatment analyse of the nerve fibers condition, which was essential for learning these techniques.
I was involved in patient related research, where I performed the quantitative sensory testing according to the DFNS protocol. I also learned to use special neurophysiology for the study of small nerve fibers, and performed А-delta pain related evoked potentials.
With these activities, I was involved in several research projects in the group of Prof. Dr. Claudia Sommer, which were centred around the fibromyalgia syndrome, small fiber neuropathy, and the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Since I have an interest in chronic pelvic pain, I have performed my own part in the research projects, which was focused on the prevalence and the phenotype of pelvic pain in patients attending department of Neurology of the University Hospital of Wurzburg.
I am especially grateful to Prof. Dr. Nikolay N. Yakhno for the support, assistance and encouragement. I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Dr. Claudia Sommer for the opportunity to visit and work in this famous laboratory and being an outstanding advisor and excellent tutor. In addition, I would like to acknowledge Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nurcan Üçeyler for sharing her clinical and scientific knowledge with me, and all colleagues who taught me the lab and neurophysiological techniques. I am deeply indebted to Prof. Dr. Claudia Sommer and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nurcan Üçeyler for their time, ideas and efforts in reviewing my proposals. I would like to thank the EFNS for having selected me for the 2014 Scientific Fellowship and for giving me the chance to stay a year in Würzburg.
Dr. Alexander Budik works at the First Moscow State Medical University, Russia