Hello, my name is Eva Capuder and as a part of my master study of Biotechnology, I did my master thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology. My project was focused on using plants to produce a certain glycoprotein found in the human-infecting parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni.
Fully understanding its mode of action, this protein could have potential applications in treating immune disorders such as allergies and autoimmune diseases, which makes it very interesting for further research. To avoid the difficult protein isolation from the worms, plant expression system could be used for its production. My part of the project had special focus on obtaining the correct glycosylation of the plant-produced protein.
I found the topic to be very interesting, but also challenging and complex and it certainly kept my mind busy trying to figure everything out. The variety of different methods that I used was very broad, since all the steps of the production process were used: from cloning, expressing the gene constructs in plants using bacteria, to purifying and analyzing the expressed protein. I cannot emphasize enough how much knowledge (both theoretical and practical) I have gained in the six months that I was working on the project. I liked the fact that as a student I could plan and perform my own experiments and interpret the results, which gave me a sense of both freedom and responsibility. I could always go to my supervisors for an advice or a good discussion when I needed to and they were always encouraging and guiding me to think further.
The overall atmosphere at the department was very pleasant and relaxed, making it a really enjoyable environment to work at. Nice people together with a very interesting project made my thesis an unforgettable experience I will always like to remember.