After doing my BSc. Thesis at Nematology, the decision to come back to the LMA-group for a MSc. Thesis was quickly made. During my BSc. Thesis I had been working with immune cells and mushrooms, during my MSc. Thesis the focus was on producing helminth proteins in plants and silencing of certain enzymes in plants via virus induced gene silencing (VIGS).
During the six months I’ve spent at LMA I have been working on two different projects. At first I have been working on the expression of a Schistosoma mansoni protein in the apoplast of N. benthamiana. During those experiments I started the second part of my thesis, in which we tried to identify the enzyme(s) responsible for the trimming of certain glycans during the N-glycosylation process, also in N. benthamiana. It was very fascinating to work on two completely different projects within one thesis, although it could be quite challenging sometimes. It needed quite some planning and insight in the experimental setup. Luckily, my supervisor, Ruud Wilbers, did not mind to help me discuss future steps during my experiments. Also, he kept me updated of new discoveries and insights concerning the VIGS-experiment.
In the lab everyone was friendly and if you needed help there was someone around most of times, although the logical set up in the lab and the clear protocols made it easy to work independently. What I found particularly pleasant during my thesis is that I felt more like a colleague than a student at most times. This led to high motivation and dedication, but also to a pleasant working environment. Also, outside the lab we had our fun with for example a Halloween evening and some Friday-afternoon-beers.
Altogether; a thesis at Nematology offers you a place to (learn to) work independently on challenging and interesting topics, of which you do not know the outcome in advance. Besides this, the chair group creates a nice environment both in and outside the lab!