I was doing my minor thesis at the laboratory of Nematology with the topic about stress response in C. elegans under the supervision of Katharina Jovic and Jan Kammenga. I studied a subset of genes that strongly respond to heat stress and used the mutants with defects in those genes to confirm a potential role of the heat-stress responsive genes on the survival rate of C. elegans.
I expected that the selected genes would have significant effect on the survival rate of C. elegans, but unfortunately I did not get that result. However, they teach me that if something doesn’t work as expected, it doesn’t mean that I failed. There is always something to learn even from failure, and we can give suggestions from our experiences to improve the next research.
It was quite challenging in the beginning since I never worked with this tiny nematode before. I spent a whole month reading material to decide which genes and mutant strains were going to be worked with. I also remember that during my first experiment, I spent almost 30 minutes only to pick a single worm! But now I’m feeling like a pro :D There were a lot of new things, methods, and experiences that I have got during my four months in this group.
This chair group has plenty of coffee break-time and an amazing Christmas lunch! The people are very professional and friendly. The technicians are always there for helping us in the lab and giving you some useful lab tips and tricks. I found it very helpful that once a week (or more), I could discuss my progress and some difficulties or lab works problems with my supervisor. The thesis ring was also helping me a lot on writing my report. The thesis ring students and the supervisors helped me to improve my grammar and gave meaningful feedback regarding the structure and content of my report. At the end, I was very delighted to be able to do my thesis in Nematology group!