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- faculteit der bètawetenschappen ( subafdeling systeembioinformatica )
- PhD student System Bioinformatics
Coco van Boxtel obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biology at Wageningen University. During the major ‘Organismal and Developmental Biology’, she became intrigued by the adaptability of organisms to their environment. Coco wanted to obtain a better molecular understanding of life - of organisms and their interactions, as this can lead to a fruitful approach to medical and biotechnological problems. Therefore she started the master ‘Bioinformatics and Systems Biology’, a collaboration between the VU and UvA. She learned to what extent the scientific community is currently able to obtain and process biological data, and how this abstraction is translated to intuitive knowledge.
During her first internship at the VU, she worked with a genome scale metabolic model of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis, to compute gene knockout strategies for biofuel production on solar energy. Subsequently, she conducted an experimental internship, focusing on the visualization of single cell variability using fluorescent reporters and time-lapse microscopy. Coco enrolled in 2015 in the AIMMS STAR graduate programme, to work as a PhD student on the evolution and population dynamics of pathogens under qualitatively different drug schedules. In this way, she aims at finding more strategic applications of antibiotics, to tackle resistance development.
“I found it very interesting to see that, once I started discussing my premature plans with experts from different disciplines, ideas about innovativeness and obvious pitfalls are not that much aligned.”