In October I started with my bachelor thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology. At first I was quite hesitant about what would be possible during my thesis, because of the pandemic. However, I quickly learnt that I would be able to perform laboratory work, which was very nice.
My bachelor thesis was about the production of phosphorylcholine-containing helminth glycoproteins in Nicotiana benthamiana. Research in this field is important, because there is an increase in chronic inflammatory associated diseases. Helminths can play a role in the battle against these type of diseases, since they secrete a certain anti-inflammatory motif on their glycoproteins called phosphorylcholine. I investigated the structure of one glycoprotein and the capability as carrier of phosphorylcholine of another.
My background in biotechnology was slightly limited as a BSc plant sciences student. For example I did not have a background in glycoengineering, therefore I was a bit startled at first with my subject, however I was very lucky with my supervisor Myrna Bunte. She explained everything very. In a quite fast pace I was able to understand what I was going to do during this thesis. Even though the lockdown was also implemented during my thesis I still had the feeling that I belonged to a team. From the weekly LMA meetings to the meetings with my supervisor to the thesis ring meetings, the social contact was still there at the Department of Nematology.
During my thesis I worked closely together with my supervisor Myrna. She helped me overcome all the problems that came in my path during the research as well as the writing part. What I learnt most of all during this thesis is to always keep track what you are doing and why, since I sometimes got a bit lost. Next to that to think creatively, if something does not work out, there is always another way to test it. I really liked working with Myrna, since she was always positive and I could ask questions at any time. I have really learnt a lot of skills during my thesis, for this I am very grateful. I am really happy that I was able to do my thesis at the Department of Nematology, and thus I really recommend it!