Studentenverhaal

Testimonial Renée Moerkens

Almost 10 months in advance I had to sign up for my Bachelor Thesis subject, because the next half year I would spend in Sweden for my minor. Somehow, allergies have always interested me and the Nematology Department offered a thesis subject in this area: the influence of mushroom intake on the hypersensitive allergy immune state.

… what I liked best was that, although being a relatively unexperienced bachelor student, I felt like my opinion and input was really being heard and taken into account …..
Renée Moerkens

July 2015

student Renee Moerkens2.jpg

Almost 10 months in advance I had to sign up for my Bachelor Thesis subject, because the next half year I would spend in Sweden for my minor. Somehow, allergies have always interested me and the Nematology Department offered a thesis subject in this area: the influence of mushroom intake on the hypersensitive allergy immune state. I was not familiar with the Laboratory of Nematology before and my future supervisor, Arjen, was not yet able to tell me where the research would be at the time I would start my thesis. However, I was really enthusiastic about the topic! In addition, I actually liked to explore a Chair group that was totally new to me and I never regretted that decision. Although it startled me a bit when I heard that I would be involved in an in vivo mice experiment, I was able to learn a lot during my thesis while being surrounded by very supportive people. I studied the effects of mushrooms on egg allergy. The main part consisted out of a cytokine analysis of cells isolated from the lymph node and spleen of allergic, mushroom fed, mice using ELISA. With these results the role of different T helper cell subsets was investigated to give a broader overview of the possible immune-modulating properties of the mushroom. Doing research in a project that was relatively new to the Department as well, was sometimes challenging and a bit chaotic at the start. But it definitely taught me the importance of first figuring out the procedure precisely before going to the lab. I learned to always be critical about other research but, above all, about my own. I had to learn that unexpected results, may look irrelevant at first sight, but can actually provide valuable information. At my time at Nematology I always had the feeling that everyone in the lab was willing to help. The perfect environment to explore and learn techniques independently, knowing that help, if needed, was never far away. But one of the things I liked best was that, although being a relatively unexperienced bachelor student, I felt like my opinion and input was really being heard and taken into account when decisions had to be made. Looking back, this Thesis gave me the opportunity to contribute a bit to science and made me even more curious to know more.