I am a third year BSc student studying Biology. In the 2nd and 3rd period of 2010/2011, I did my BSc thesis at the Nematology chair group. I had experienced and enjoyed working with the model organism C. elegans during the summer as well as in the course Ecophysiology (NEM-21306). That is why I really wanted to work with this organism for my thesis and what better place than the C. elegans group of Nematology?
For my thesis, I looked at the heat shock response in several mutant strains of C. elegans in a classical phenotyping experiment. This was to verify if the genes altered in these mutants were related to the mediation of the heat shock response. We found some mutants that were dying in much larger numbers than the control strains. I then used the latest microarray technology to profile the transcriptome of these mutants to see what was happening on a genetic level. These were very nice contrasts in the research, having both classical and modern techniques that I could learn and apply, and analyzing phenotype vs. genotype. I performed experiments, I analyzed the data that resulted from the microarrays and I researched plenty of literature to try and make sense of all that data, as it really provides an ocean of information.
During my time at the Nematology chair group, I learned a lot of things. I got a taste of what working at a lab is like, as well as a taste of the best Christmas lunch I ever had, and I am hungry for a lot more of both! The people are wonderful and dedicated and always ready to answer your questions with patience and clarity. I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a place to do their thesis!