In September 2010 I started my Msc Thesis for Biotechnology at LMA. For six months I worked on the interleukin-10 project under the supervision of Ruud Wilbers and Arjen Schots. Most work concerning IL-10 at LMA concerns the production of recombinant forms of IL-10 in tobacco plants.
However I got to work on the signal transduction initiated by IL-10 in animal cell lines. Interleukin-10 is a pleiotropic cytokine that asserts its effects by binding to the IL-10 receptor complex. Activation of the complex activates a family of kinases, which then activate transcription factors etc. Trying to find out how just one component is involved in this chain reaction is really interesting, but also pretty challenging. Of course things didn’t always work out the way I had planned. That is one thing I learned for sure, 90% of research never makes it to a journal, but often you just have to try to discover that it doesn’t work.
Still I had a great time, not only doing my experiments but also outside the lab. One of the best things of Nematology is the large amount of ‘social events’. During breaks there are always people to talk to in the coffee room and things get real crowded when there’s cake, which is at least once a week. December is also a great month with an appearance of Sinterklaas and Christmas lunch, well lunch, it takes the whole day actually. There’s a lot more that I could list but the thing is at Nema it never gets boring.