I have recently finished my master thesis at the LMA lab of the Nematology department. For about half a year, I have studied the possibility of obtaining trematode proteins from Nicotiana benthamiana, by down regulation of certain glycosyltransferases, enzymes that couple sugar molecules on other sugars on proteins.
This was quite a broad topic, so I was allowed to team up with another student who focused on other transferases. Though this teamwork was demanding at times, we carried out many experiments and had a lot of fun. When faced with unclear data, my buddy and I helped each other along. Of course our supervisor Lotte Westerhof, together with Ruud Wilbers and Lizeth Meza, assisted us throughout the project and helped us keep up-to-date with new findings.
The nematology lab in itself is a nice and productive workspace. Pre-made protocols are used throughout the LMA lab, making it easy to help fellow lab workers or to be helped. This added to the feeling of the lab being like a small community. Everyone worked independently, but if anyone needed assistance, always someone would find the time to help. And if someone needed to visit the greenhouse on a sunny day, he’d drag many people along to help in the experiment.
Overall, I found that the Nematology department is a place where you can well develop yourself as an enthusiastic scientist. This is due to the peer-reviewing of work of others, the study topics offered and by its lively people.