I did my Bachelor Thesis Biotechnology at the C. elegans group of Nematology under supervision of Mark Sterken and Jan Kammenga.
My goal was to generate knockout mutants in model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with the CRISPR/Cas9 system by focusing on genes which are part of a defence pathway against the Orsay virus. I chose this project because I wanted to work with an organism I had not worked with before, to broaden my horizon. Also, it was an exciting prospect to work with CRISPR/Cas9, as this new system is currently a hot topic in genetic engineering. I got to learn and use techniques one would never encounter in a practical and found out what working in a lab is like. Although my thesis did not go according to plan, which seems to be a quite common phenomenon, I had a lot of fun aside from the occasional frustrations. Doing research that has not been done before was a very nice change from doing standard practicals, as I learned a lot from really diving into a subject and coping with the setbacks I encountered.
Of course, it was not only the research itself that was a lot of fun. The laboratory of Nematology has a really relaxed atmosphere, everybody is willing to help you and you don’t have to fear making mistakes. This also applied to my supervisors, who did a fantastic job in guiding me through my thesis relatively stress-free.
And last but definitely not least: if you want interesting coffee breaks, Nematology is the place to be.