Dr. Suzan Ruijtenberg
‘Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order’. This quote, by Sydney Brenner, the Nobel Prize Winner of 2002 in Physiology or Medicine, very well describes my own research experience. Since I started as a PhD student in 2010 I have experienced several times the power and the joy of developing and applying novel (imaging based) techniques. As a PhD student, I developed the CRE-loxP system for C. elegans , which allowed us to make several new discoveries regarding cell cycle control during differentiation. For my postdoc (2015) I moved to the lab of M. E. Tanenbaum at the Hubrecht Institute, where I used single molecule imaging to follow translation on single mRNA molecules in real time in living cells, using the SunTag system. During my postdoc I explored various aspects of the SunTag method and developed new assays to study the interplay between a RNA-binding protein (specifically AGO2) and the translation machinery. Currently I am combining my experience with the model organism C. elegans, and my expertise in visualizing gene expression dynamics at the single molecule level to unravel how translational regulation contributes to cellular behavior and developmental decisions. In addition, I like to develop and explore new, innovative imaging and labeling technologies which allow visualization and control of gene expression dynamics.