Alumnus testimonial

Alumnus Daniel Polders - MSc Molecular Life Sciences

“My favourite aspect of the Molecular Life Sciences programme is that you’re not studying just physics or chemistry, but you’re working truly interdisciplinary. Furthermore, there are many opportunities to incorporate subjects that you find interesting or you think will add to your personal development. But in the end, the mentality in Wageningen of small scale education and a lot personal interaction is what won me over."

The experimental aspect of my PhD project is very challenging

The next step

"The BSc and MSc combined took me seven years, which sounds like a long time. However, I was a very active student, involved in the student board, education commission and the quality of education. Obviously, I had to graduate at some point, and after that I decided to start a PhD traject. I had to do this, because I would get paid to do something that I enjoy and I love the freedom to experiment!"

The project

"My project is all about the new 7 Tesla MRI scanner, which was bought by the University of Utrecht in cooperation with some other parties. There is a complete new research group founded, so they needed a lot of new PhD students to play around with the machine. This results in a diverse group, with people that have a background in an array of areas, like biomedical imaging, physics, and one in molecular life sciences. Out of all the people here, I have the most chemical background, so I was asked to arrange the furnishment of the brand new lab."

Goals for the future

"We work a lot with the company Philips, which is a Dutch company that is mostly known for consumer electronics, but is developing high-end biomedical equipment as well. The company funded the scanner and some additional equipment, because they want to take the MRI scanner from the fundamental research to the medical field. For now, this is a relatively new technique and the measurements need a lot of calculations afterwards. In my project, I strive to use the theory to obtain images by diffusion weighted MRI-data. This is experimentally challenging, so I will need to work very methodologically.”

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