I worked on my master’s thesis at the department of Nematology under the supervision of Ruud Wilbers. In this project, I investigated the use of various glycosyltransferases that helped modify the endogenous N-glycosylation machinery in N. benthamiana.
I have always dreamt of working in the field of pharmaceuticals and therapeutics. LMA provided me with the opportunity to help me realize this dream. Through the course of my project I learned various techniques and tricks that I could apply to my future research. Moreover, I also gained a deeper understanding into the why’s of the experiments that helped me understand the needs for various components in an experiment. This helped me select and optimize experimental procedures that fit with my research. However, a key insight I gained from the thesis was that things do not always go according to plans. Quite a few times my experiments did not yield the results I expected. However, the supervisors at LMA were highly motivating and encouraging which helped me keep up my confidence and not loose faith. They also helped me think critically and figure out why my experiments did not go according to plan or yielded results that I did not expect. This is an essential skill for anyone pursuing a career in research. Finally, one of the most interesting things I came across at Nematology is the concept of thesis rings. It helped me understand the process of peer review and look at the works of my peers critically. It also helped me gain an understanding on the best ways to write a paper, so that it is in accordance with high quality research that can be published. Overall, my research experience at Nematology helped shape me into a critical thinker for which I am highly indebted.
Apart from the research, the environment at LMA was highly sociable and friendly. The PhD’s, lab technicians and fellow students were accessible and always willing to help when needed. I met some of my best friends too in the process who have grown to be like family to me. From lab-outings to Friday-beers, group activities were organized quite often which made the journey even more enjoyable. It helped me realize that science isn’t really dull or boring but actually fun if the environment is conducive to it. In conclusion, I would like to say that doing my master’s thesis at nematology was probably one of the best decisions I have taken and I would recommend the same to all prospective students whilst choosing their theses.