Testimonial Kilian Wiersma

I did my Bachelor Thesis Biotechnology at the C. elegans group of Nematology under supervision of Mark Sterken and Jan Kammenga.

Exciting prospect to work with CRISPR/Cas9
Kilian Wiersma

January 2016

Student Kilian Wiersma.jpg

My goal was to generate knockout mutants in model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with the CRISPR/Cas9 system by focusing on genes which are part of a defence pathway against the Orsay virus. I chose this project because I wanted to work with an organism I had not worked with before, to broaden my horizon. Also, it was an exciting prospect to work with CRISPR/Cas9, as this new system is currently a hot topic  in genetic engineering. I got to learn and use techniques one would never encounter in a practical and found out what working in a lab is like. Although my thesis did not go according to plan, which seems to be a quite common phenomenon, I had a lot of fun aside from the occasional frustrations.  Doing research that has not been done before was a very nice change from doing standard practicals, as I learned a lot from really diving into a subject and coping with the setbacks I encountered.

Of course, it was not only the research itself that was a lot of fun. The laboratory of Nematology has a really relaxed atmosphere, everybody is willing to help you and you don’t have to fear making mistakes. This also applied to my supervisors, who did a fantastic job in guiding me through my thesis relatively stress-free.

And last but definitely not least: if you want interesting coffee breaks, Nematology is the place to be.