During my master in Biotechnology, I was introduced to the mechanisms that parasitic worms utilize to survive in their host without causing severe diseases by modulating the immune response.
These immunomodulating properties that parasitic worms utilize have the potential to be used to treat people with aberrant immune responses such as autoimmune diseases or allergies. The more I read about parasitic worms the more fascinated I became. Luckily, I had the opportunity to perform my master thesis at the department of Parasitology at Leiden University Medical Centre with the supervision of the laboratory of Nematology. For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to identify novel ligands in the eggs of the Schistosoma mansoni that drive a Th2 response via Dendritic Cells. These 6 months have stimulated me to work independently, come up with my own experiments and to develop a critical mind when evaluating the results. Next to that my knowledge about parasites have expanded and I might continue to study parasitic worms after graduation. The atmosphere at the department of Parasitology was great and I really enjoyed doing research there. I would like to thank both supervisors Bart Everts and Ron Hokke for their on-site supervision and Ruud Wilbers from the department of Nematology for supervising me and giving me this opportunity. My thesis at the department of Nematology gave me good insight in the daily life of researchers. I would recommend to do a thesis at the laboratory of Nematology.