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One Health PACT / Avans – Lab-student: Elfana Riksen

Sixteen 3rd year Biology and Laboratorial Research students are working on OHPACT-related projects within Avans under the supervision of teachers with OHPACT as their client. Within this part of the curriculum of the bachelor education, project based learning is essential. Together with University Utrecht (Judith van den Brand, Giuseppe Giglia, Gianfilippo Agliani) students are unravelling the role of apoptosis in Usutu virus positive blackbirds. In addition, within the collaboration with Erasmus MC (Bas Oudemunnink, Emmanuelle Munger, Reina Sikkema), students are contributing to the development of a fieldable assay for the detection of vector-borne viruses from wildlife and clinical samples and optimizing the CO1 PCR for ticks species identification. In association with the LUMC (Louie Krol), students are investigating if the Culex pipiens-complex DNA can be detected in the guts of known mosquito predators using qPCR.

Who are these students? In the upcoming weeks we will share with you who are these students and on which topics they will focus.

Who am I?

My name is Elfana Riksen, and I am 23 year old. I am a third year Biomedical Research student at Avans Hogeschool ATGM at Breda.

What subject will I be focussing on this semester? What will I be researching?

I am working on a project for my specialization. My project partner (Lynn Wachelder) and I are researching the detection probability of the Culex pipiens DNA in the gastointestinal tract of predators.

What would I like to learn?

Global warming is bringing more and more exotic diseases and animal species to the Netherlands. That is why it is necessary to research, among other things, the cycle of life of the mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. I would therefore like to gain more knowledge about this current issue.

What do I want to do with this in the future?

My interests are in the field of public health. I would like to learn a lot more about these topics, so the One Health PACT project was a very good start.

You can find me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elfana-riksen-05458a207/

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This project 'Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach' (NWA. 1160.1S.210) is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

More about this project and the Dutch Research Council (NWO)