From September until December 2014 I did my iMOS internship at the University of California, Irvine. I joined the Tobias group which focuses on molecular dynamics simulation of biomolecular structure. My job was to simulate Hv1(a proton channel in a variety of organisms) under a depolarizing potential in order to investigate the opening mechanism of the channel. Fortunately for that purpose we got 75.000h computational time on Anton which is one of the fastest supercomputers for MD simulations. These simulations provided some interesting information about the opening mechanism and the work will be published soon.
I lived off-campus and shared a small house with five guys. Even though I just had approximately 20sq m the rent was about $950 per month. Finding a place to live in Irvine for such a short period is very difficult and expensive and if you are thinking about doing your internship in Irvine as well, search and apply for housing as soon as possible. The city itself is one of the safest places in the USA. It is very modern and beautiful as well. The university is around 5 miles away from the beach and the beaches in California are just awesome. When I arrived the temperature was about 32 degrees Celsius and during my time it did not go below 20 degrees. That is one reason for living in California. The other reason is UCI. It is one of the best public universities in the USA and the campus is modern, clean and well organized. The faculties are located around the Aldrich Park which is a botanical garden and the heart of UCI. There is no canteen or something comparable as known from Germany but there are several restaurants such as Subway, Panda Express or Blaze Pizza.
During my time I met lots of nice people, visited a few beaches of California and did a short trip to San Francisco with another iMOS student from Santa Barbara. Overall I enjoyed my time really much and can highly recommend UCI and especially the Tobias group for doing an internship. Last but not least I would like to thank Prof Marx who not only arranged the internship but rather gave me the opportunity being a part of such a great group.
Link to University of California
Link to Master course in Molecular Sciences and Simulation (iMOS) at Ruhr-University Bochum
About the Author
Hendrik Göddeke was born in Meschede and holds a BSc in Molecular Biology with a focus on Bioinformatics from Westphalian University Gelsenkirchen. He then moved to Bochum for iMOS. The international course was carried out in the Tobias lab at UC Irvine. He finished iMOS in September 2015 and is now doing his PhD in the Schäfer group.