Testimonial Mark Sterken

For the last six months I have worked at my MSc thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology. I performed my research at the C. elegans group, lead by Jan Kammenga and was supervised by Jan Kammenga and Basten Snoek. But I also worked alongside with other people from our group, especially Roel Bevers and Joost Riksen.

I exposed the worms to heat stress and thereafter I measured gene expression using microarrays
Mark Sterken

February 2011

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I worked on the GRAPPLE project (as did Roel), where I was responsible for the experiments performed on the (near) introgression lines (NILs). This is a population of C. elegans that have a genome that for the largest part originates from the N2 strain (your common laboratory C. elegans), but a small part (not more than 10%) comes from CB-4856. These worms can be used to study genetical genomics, which tries to find regions that regulate gene expression. I exposed the worms to heat stress and thereafter I measured gene expression using microarrays. Thereafter I made a start with the analysis of the data, identifying regions regulating gene expression but especially familiarizing myself with the data. I have learned a lot about the research performed in C. elegans and how great it is as a model organism. Furthermore it was also a great way to improve my Bioinformatics skills, learning and using them to analyze a vast amount of data as efficient as possible.

The last six months were great, I really enjoyed the research. But next to that also the great atmosphere and the nice people added to the good time I had. A good conversation with colleagues around the coffee table can always give you the energy to re-engage in the ever-lasting fight with the computer.