I completed my first thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology. My thesis project was about how to produce helminth-type glycoproteins using a plant-based platform. As these proteins are known to have strong immunomodulatory properties, they have received growing attention as a novel treatment against immune-related diseases.
Under the supervision of Kim van Noort and Ruud Wilbers, I mainly focused on branching of the glycan on kappa-5 and core-fucosylation of the glycan on omega-1. Whenever I had challenges or questions during the project, they didn’t tell me the answers directly but showed me how to reach them. Their teaching methods were really helpful to learn to think reasonable and critical as a scientific researcher. Also, they taught that the failures and mistakes I made were not only desperate but could be helpful for the results in the end.
For laboratory performances, also other supervisors and technicians in the lab kindly answered my questions and helped to solve problems. With their professional knowledge and experimental background, I could figure out why my experiment failed and how to design new strategies. Furthermore, the Nema people were always willing to bring cookies and cakes during the coffee break. With comfortable feeling, I could connect with them and relax myself during the stressful thesis work.
What I really loved was the feedback systems with fellow students doing a thesis/internship in Nema. During the thesis/presentation rings, I got valuable feedback from fellow students and had the opportunity to learn from their writing skills and interesting expressions. Above all, the presentation ring before my colloquium was very useful to take out unnecessary stuff and make my presentation more concise and understandable.
At the end of my thesis, I appreciated to finish my first thesis in the Nema group and to be part of the department. Thus, I would like to recommend doing a thesis at Nema to every student interested in Nema topics. I strongly believe that you will gain a lot of knowledge/lab skills and get a nice experience in Nematology.