Hey! My name is Kyriakos Varypatakis, and for my Master’s degree in Plant Sciences I decided to do my thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology in the SPIT group under the supervision of Jose Lozano and Geert Smant. During the first year and the course ‘’Molecular Aspects of Bio-Interactions’’ I had the first experience working in this lab; from then on, I felt sure where I will do my thesis and more specifically in the field of plant-nematode interactions.
I always found very interesting the way of which nematodes manipulate the immune system of plants and how plant molecules (such as the protease Rcr3) influence the susceptibility to nematodes. Therefore, I studied the impact of an Rcr3-regulated cascade altered by parasitic nematodes in Arabidopsis plants.
Working in Nematology all these 6 months was a great experience for me. First of all, the working environment was ideal for me to develop my research thinking and skills. Besides, I appreciated the fact that all the people from the department faced me as a researcher and not as a student and every morning they welcomed me with a smile. From my first days in the Lab, I felt familiar with everyone; multiple activities which take place (lab-outings, parties and of course daily coffee breaks with the whole department) can help. Personally, I find it as the best opportunity in order to keep the dynamic and the scientific potential as high as possible. For sure, I would like to continue working with these people.