During my study Molecular Life Sciences I became interested in the interactions between small organisms. In the Laboratory of Nematology I found a subject related to that: the interaction between the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and the Orsay virus.
It was found that different C. elegans strains have varying susceptibilities to the Orsay virus. During my thesis, I investigated genes potentially underlying this natural variation. Therefore, I learned a lot of new techniques: from working with the nematodes itself to the usage of RT-qPCR. Furthermore, we made a set-up for the genome editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 that allows for generation of specific mutations. In order to use this technique in C. elegans you need to inject the nematodes in a specific part of the body, which was quite difficult in the beginning, but succeeded in the end!
The laboratory is a very friendly environment and it was easy to blend in with the group (both students and staff). Furthermore, the process from orientation on a thesis until finishing it was very well organized, so you knew what to do and to expect. Also, there is a feedback system called the thesis ring, in which students give feedback to each other. That was very useful, because I learned how to give (better) feedback and critically read a document, but also received extra feedback on my own report. So, if you are looking for a place to perform you thesis, I would definitely recommend to take a look here.