Neuro-D Lab Leiden

Being a student in COVID-time

I’m Abel Nijkerk, and I’m a master student Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University. Since February 2020, I’ve been conducting my internship here at the Neuro-D Lab Leiden under David Parfitt‘s supervision. One of the group’s main research lines is the development of an AON for Huntington’s Disease. The group’s been using different models to test this AON in, and I’ve been working on the characterization of a human stem cell organoid model.

When I started in February, I surely didn’t see the closure of the facilities coming. It came anyway, and from March 15 on, I had to put my internship on hold as only the critically necessary research (like cell culture) was allowed. Luckily I was able to follow a course and start writing my scientific review. I’ve now finished all the practical work and looking back at last year, things have really been crazy. I am really glad though that I’ve been a part of this group. Everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful. I really do hope that we can contribute to all the work that’s being done on Huntington’s Disease and in the end, help patients.

This is a section of an organoid that I did a staining on:

Organoid brain
Being a student in COVID-time
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