My name is Jessica Konijnenburg. For my bachelor thesis, I looked into a secreted protein from Brugia malayi. This parasitic nematode causes filariasis in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, often leading to severe malformations in infected persons.
The protein BmVAL1 is suspected to have a repressive effect on the human immune system, thereby ensuring survival of the parasite within the human host. My results seemed to confirm this hypothesis, but unfortunately I had not enough time to obtain conclusive results. Still, I very much enjoyed my time at the nematology department. I liked the experimental part of my research a lot, for a large part because everyone at the lab is very nice and helped a lot with all my questions and learning new skills. During the writing of my proposal and report I received both positive and constructive feedback in the thesis rings, which really made the writing process much less of a struggle. All in all, I learned a lot during my stay and it was very enjoyable.