For three months, I’ve done my BSc thesis research at the laboratory of Nematology. I worked in the ‘C. elegans group’, which is led by Jan Kammenga.
My research focused on studying the influence of natural variation in the genetic background on a mutation in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The mutation in question is in a beta-catenin gene, the product of which is crucial in the widely conserved Wnt signalling pathway. Disruptions of this pathway can lead to disorders, such as colorectal cancer and melanomas. We have started to narrow down quantitative trait loci (QTLs) to smaller regions, and ultimately single genes that affect the phenotypes of the mutant animals. In the future, this may help us understand better how interpersonal variation influences complex diseases such as cancer.
The working atmosphere in general is very nice, the supervision is good and you can always ask questions. In addition, there are a lot of students, which also makes it nice and dynamic. During my time at the lab, I also had a lot of fun besides working. The group is very social and coffee and lunch breaks are always very nice. If you’re lucky, like me, a lot of people will celebrate their birthday and bring cake. ^^ And on Friday you can always enjoy a beer with some other people.
Since I had such a great time, I’ve now come back for a few weeks to do some more research from a slightly different angle. If you are looking around for a place to do your thesis, I definitely recommend the Nematology group!