Tiago Silva obtained his Master Degree in Biological Engineering in December 2017 from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, Lisbon, Portugal). During his studies he did two internships in Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (Lisbon, Portugal) where he assisted in African Swine Flu virus research where he learned about cell culture and vaccine development. He joined Marcel Ottens’ group in TU Delft (Delft, The Netherlands) for his Master’s End Project, having the opportunity to study the diffusion of proteins using a microfluidic device. After graduating he joined Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, iBB (Lisbon, Portugal), as a research fellow working on microfluidics chromatographic steps for the development of a separation technique for the purification of antibodies. He later joined Jerónimo Martins, a retail company in Portugal where he mainly worked as a Perishables Engineer. In May 2019 he re-joined Marcel Ottens’ group in TU Delft as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project CODOBIO.
Short description of project:
During my PhD I learned plenty of skills that cannot be summarized in a few words. However, I believe that the most important technical skills were the use of computation to study a process using computer-based algorithms and learning how to fabricate miniaturized devices. The most important soft skills I learned were how to manage my project and time and how to work in a group of different people with different backgrounds, such as the CODOBIO. What I enjoyed the most about my project was having the possibility to have a secondment at a company and to be able to develop my work there. I believe that a close relationship between Academia and Industry is important for the formation and preparation of ESRs that want to pursue a career in industry. I believe that my study using different methods to study protein adsorption to different chromatography resins provides a good comparison of such methods. Hopefully this is used by both academia and industry to see what method best suits their needs in terms of time and sample saving. The computer-based optimization I developed for continuous chromatography also provided very accurate results with short computational times and can be an important tool to study continuous chromatography in a fast and accurate way. My advice to future Early-Stage Researchers is to not be afraid to make use of the network that ITNs provide. Reaching out to other PIs is not only important, but it can also be very useful and since the goal of the ITN is to provide a collaborative platform, all PIs are available to help. As a future step for me, I plan to apply what I have learned during my PhD in an industry job, possibly working as a Process Engineer in the Biopharmaceutical Industry.