Track 22: Serological tools for surveillance across species
Prof. dr. Andrea Gröne (UU)
Dr. Aart van Amerongen
Reina Sikkema; Prof. dr. Marion Koopmans
Description PhD project
I was born in Germany but for much of my life lived in San Diego, California. Even as a child I was interested in understanding how things worked and would often take my toys and parents’ watches apart. They did not always appreciate that but did encourage my curiosity. I obtained my BSc. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and became interested in viruses while working on an HBV project at Arcturus Therapeutics. After a couple of years at Arcturus, I obtained my MSc. in Biomolecular Sciences from VU Amsterdam. During a Containment Strategies of Infectious Diseases course, I became interested in the development of point-of-care diagnostics to detect viruses.
I was recommended to have a look at the OHPACT consortium and not only were there ideal projects available in the development of diagnostics to detect arboviruses, but I also appreciated the multi-disciplinary approach of the consortium. In April 2020 I started my PhD in the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences at Utrecht University. My project “Serological tools for surveillance across species” seeks to develop a fieldable, species-independent serological assay able to detect and distinguish between multiple arbovirus-specific antibodies. I believe that my project will not only be applicable in The Netherlands and Dutch Caribbean, but that my experience will also be important in the future to develop reliable, fieldable assays useful for those working in lower resource regions.
Outside of research I enjoy playing football, cooking, listening to podcasts, and reading to inform myself on topics outside of the biological sciences.