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One Health PACT / Avans – Lab-student: Thibeesan Pooventhiranathan

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 Thibeesan Pooventhiranathan and I am 22 years old. I am studying the bachelor’s program Biomedical Research at Avans Hogeschool in Breda.

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

I am currently working on a project for my specialisation in Patient-oriented research. The projects main goal is to learn more about the apoptosis in Usutu virus infected blackbirds.

What would I like to learn?

I want to learn more about this virus and about the techniques I am working with. I think its very interesting to learn about a virus what comes from Africa and how its now a big plague in Europe. I want to learn more about this pathway and how a virus can be so deadly for a blackbird.

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

I want to save lives and I want to cure animals and people, so I am very honoured and proud of myself that I am working with the One Health Pact program. I hope to contribute to a better understanding of Usutu virus in blackbirds.  

You can find me on LinkedIn:

I will now pass the baton to Danique Lichtenberg