Joris Jansen, alumnus of the Master's in Infection and Immunity

Portrait photo of Joris Jansen

"My Master’s set me up with a strong network in the field of immunology and infectious diseases, and a solid theoretical basis from which to work. As a research technician, my role is to support the scientists I work with and provide them with the technical support they need to conduct their experiments as effectively as possible. The scientific skills and knowledge I gained during my Master’s have greatly enhanced my ability to provide this support, as I understand what the researchers are trying to achieve and can think along with them on the same level. My goal is to one day conduct similar research, and I am currently developing the expertise to do so.

I chose the Master’s programma Infection and Immunity for it’s great reputation in the Netherlands and abroad, and because of my interest in the human/medical aspect of biology. Of particular interest to me is how certain diseases develop and how pathogens co-evolve with their hosts.

The programme exceeded my expectation in many areas. I greatly enjoyed the lectures, which were taught by renowned scientists who often shared knowledge that was part of their own research. The internships were a unique opportunity to experience what it is like to work in a lab and pursue a career as a researcher.

Currently I am working as a research technician at a core facility for flow cytometry at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). My job involves supporting the researchers and maintaining our instruments (quality control, cleaning, trouble shooting). We also give courses on flow cytometry, in which I teach students how to use our machines and how to conduct experiments on flow cytometers. 

In my job, it is very rewarding to find a solution to an issue or problem that somebody is having, whether it is fixing a machine or teaching them a new technique. Having an impact on the important scientific work of others via a supporting role is a great experience."

Lucie Hustin, alumnus of the Master's in Infection and Immunity

Alumnus Lucie Hustin in front of the Hijmans van den Bergh building

"The opportunity to keep learning while contributing to my field of interest is extremely exciting. I am a junior researcher at the UMC Utrecht in the Laboratory of Translational Immunology. I start my PhD in a few months, but I already have the freedom of an independent researcher: I lead my own projects, plan my time, and, most importantly, have the space to explore the fundamental immunological questions I find interesting, always with the support of my whole group. This Master’s has been excellent preparation for my current role.

As a researcher, obtaining significant results is always exciting, but the process of obtaining these results can be just as exciting: from starting with an idea and experiments, to sharing and analysing these with experts, to refining your theory and obtaining answers to your original question.

This Master’s encourages you to pave your own way as a scientist. It taught me how to set my own goals and figure out the steps I need to take to reach them. You experience an extensive amount of time in labs and within the academic community in general. Compared to other programmes where practical work is minimal, this Master's allows you to develop a greater understanding of what research involves/implies and a better idea of what you want to do after graduation.

The connections I made with people in academia and the discussions I had with them were particularly memorable. I am still in contact with these academics, and they have provided me with invaluable feedback and mentoring. These connections have proved (and continue to prove) very helpful in everything from finding and applying for a PhD, to sharing concerns or experiences, and finding inspiration."