Lars-Eric Fielmich, MSc.
After finishing my Biomedical Sciences Bachelor’s degree at the Utrecht University, I continued my academic career in Utrecht with the Master’s program Cancer Genomics and Developmental Biology (now Cancer, Stem cells and Developmental biology). For my major research project, I worked in the lab of Stefan Schulte-Merker at the Hubrecht Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Andreas van Impel. We characterized mutants that came from a forward genetic screen for vascular defects, to identify novel genes required for (lymph)angiogenesis in zebrafish. It is during this internship that I have developed my enthusiasm for developmental biology, genetics, and (live) imaging. Already in this period, I got in touch with my current Ph.D. supervisor, Sander van den Heuvel, as host of the Developmental Genetics course. And it is through Sander and the Developmental Genetics course that I arranged my second research internship at the French Riviera.
In Nice, I worked in the lab of Pierre Léopold at the Institut Biologie Valrose under the supervision of Dr. Rénald Delanoue. We worked on a reverse genetic screen in Drosophila to study the coupling of the animal’s nutritious state and systemic growth control. Even more than zebrafish, the flie work raised my interests in genetics and it was then that I realized that I wanted to continue working with developmental biology, genetics, and microscopy, preferably in a living animal. Luckily, such an opportunity occurred when I returned to The Netherlands and had regular contacts with Sander in the process of finishing my research project and writing my literature thesis.
During my master thesis, I have raised special interests in the regulation of mitotic spindle positioning and orientation during asymmetric stem cell-like division. And I am grateful that I now have the opportunity to study asymmetric cell division in the nematode C. elegans. Asymmetric cell division is crucial during development and stands at the core of diversification of cell types. The relative simple model organism C. elegans allows us to study these fundamental processes in vivo in a highly reproductive manner since the somatic cell lineage is invariable and has been mapped completely. Its powerful genetic tools and state of the art advanced microscopy equipment in our department allow us to study the molecular regulation of asymmetric cell division in great detail. Just as important: I have learned to appreciate the division of Developmental Biology as a very stimulating working environment. The atmosphere is sociable and all of my colleagues possess a nice mixture of ambition and friendliness, creating a pleasant working environment.