I finished my PhD in Biology at KU Leuven and I am currently looking for a new challenge. My research dealt with the development of a suitable cryopreservation protocol for the asexual eggs of the water flea Daphnia magna. The first part of my PhD focused on the biochemical comparison of sexual and asexual eggs of D. magna, while the second part mainly focused on cryopreservation.
During my PhD I have learned to work precise and structured, in a team as well as individually. I developed several new analytical protocols in collaboration with several more specialized research groups. At my job I am dedicated to always find and implement the best solution to achieve the best results. I would like to expand my academically gained knowledge about research in the field of biology and biochemistry to the world of pharmaceutical research.
In the enclosed resume you can find additional information about my qualifications. I would really welcome the opportunity to participate in a personal interview to answer any of your questions and better present my skills and qualities. I am looking forward to receiving your reply. Thank you in advance for considering my application.
PhD student Leuven, Belgium
January 2011 --- August 2015
The water flea Daphnia magna is an important model organism in many research areas, such as ecology, ecotoxicology, evolutionary biology and eco-genomics and most of these applications use clonal lines produced via asexual reproduction. To date, maintenance of the clonal lines can only be achieved through continuous culturing. This is a labor-intensive process and entails the risk of losing important lines because of contamination, disease or accidents. In this PhD research, we tried to solve this problem by developing a cryopreservation protocol for the asexual eggs of Daphnia magna.
The dormant eggs of Daphnia, produced by sexual reproduction, are drought and freeze resistant and are thereby an excellent reference to determine what is needed for eggs to survive cryopreservation. We determined the main biochemical differences between sexual and asexual eggs. We found that asexual eggs have higher concentrations of fatty acids than sexual eggs, however a certain concentration of long-chain PUFA, especially EPA and ARA, is maintained in sexual eggs even when they are not provided by the food and this in both neutral lipids and phospholipids. Sugar content of sexual and asexual eggs was very distinct, sexual eggs contained high amounts of trehalose (4.15% of their dry weight), while asexual only contain 0.006% trehalose. Also polyamine analysis revealed some difference between the two egg types. Asexual eggs always contained higher amounts of the metabolite diaminopropane and lower amounts of putrescine and spermidine in comparison with sexual eggs.
In a second step we tried to modify the composition of asexual eggs in order to increase their stress resistance. Fatty acid composition of asexual is strongly influenced by the maternal food, so to boost the PUFA composition of these eggs we simply switch to a diet containing more long-chain PUFA. PUFA composition of the asexual eggs of D. magna is also strongly influence by the culturing temperature of the females, they allocate more unsaturated fatty acids to their eggs at colder temperatures. In addition, we tried to increase trehalose concentration of the asexual eggs by supplementation of the maternal diet with trehalose containing liposomes, but changes were only minor.
In parallel, the protocol for cryopreservation was optimized. To obtain sufficient dehydration we choose for a two-step pretreatment for the eggs before applying droplet vitrification. The pretreatment consisted of a glycerol loading, followed by osmotic dehydration in a vitrification solution. The vitrification solution contained glycerol, methanol or ethylene glycol and trehalose.
In the last step, we combined the procedure to alter the biochemical properties of asexual eggs and our most suitable cryopreservation protocol. This stepwise approach led to successful cryopreservation of subitaneous Daphnia magna eggs. Although survival rates are still low, this is a large step forward in the process towards safe storage of clonal lines.
Analytical thinkingAssertivenessAdaptabilityCollaborationDependabilityCritical thinkingCreative thinkingEfficiencyFlexibilityIndependenceOrganizationOptimismProblem solvingProactivityResiliencyService orientedWillingness to compromise
Biochemistry Biostatistics Labtechnician Scientific writing Animal modelsData AnalysisEnglishFlow CytometryHPLCLaboratory study designMicrosoft ExcelMicrosoft OfficeMicroscopyPowerPointRandomization and blindingScientific methodologyStatisticsStatistical considerations in design and analysisSDS-PAGECryopreservationGaschromatographyR programming
Skills and Expertise
Analyze data Control data Develop protocols Guide students Interpret data Molecular Diagnostics Write papers Report dataAdjust processes and methodsAnalyze dataAttend seminarsCollaborate with project teamCollaborate with principal investigatorCommunicate with investigatorConduct research at universitiesCreates a collaborative team environmentData analysisDesign protocolDesign scientific projects (in biology)Determine statistical analysis Execute scientific projectsInterpret dataLiaise with research teamlifescienceManuscript preparationMonitor dataNetworkObtain grantsOral presentationOrganize scientific projects (in biology)Written presentationWrite papersStatistical analysisSpecimen processingResearch at universitiesResolves queriesCryopreservation
Master in Biology from KU Leuven in 2010