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Student Biomedical Sciences: Biochemistry and Metabolic Diseases

Jelmi uit de Bos
Photo: Jelmi uit de Bos

Focus on research

‘One reason I chose this Master’s programme is because the programme is mainly focused on doing research, which is an important part of Biomedical Sciences: The programme consists of three months of courses -although you can choose to follow more courses- and two relatively long internships. During these internships you get to know the research culture and many different people from your area of interest. In addition, you learn to apply knowledge gained in the Bachelor’s programme. Due to the research focus of the programme you learn a broad range of techniques. Meanwhile, you learn to ask the right questions and techniques to interrogate cellular functions to answer your research question. Overall, the programme optimally prepares you for a doctoral programme and stimulates basic skills such as presenting and academic writing. Another reason for me to choose this programme is that you are stimulated to go abroad during the second internship, an aspect I was definitely interested in. As such, I will start my second internship in Boston in September. I am sure this will be a great experience, both on a personal and academic level.’

Top-notch institutes Amsterdam

‘Amsterdam offers the perfect place to perform internships, as it has multiple top-notch research institutes, including the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the Amsterdam Medical Centre, Sanquin and the Swammerdam Insitute for Life Sciences (SILS). This way, you can choose from many different research fields, allowing you to work on the topic that interests you the most. You can get the whole scala from fundamental to translational research. The research area I am particularly interested in is fundamental molecular biology. Years of evolution have made the cell into a complex system; a cell has to respond correctly to signals from its environment to adapt to changing environments, and cellular dysfunction can rapidly turn into disease. To understand disease, it is important to know how a cell, tissue or organism functions under normal circumstances. To me, it is interesting to find out how something as complex as a cell mechanistically functions - which often turns out to be different than you would think. Currently I am performing my first internship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in the group of Benjamin Rowland, where I am working on a ring-shaped protein complex called condensin, which is responsible for mitotic chromosome condensation. It is still largely unknown how this complex drives the essential process that is condensation, and being able to explore this and simultaneously contribute at the forefront of research is greatly exciting.’