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Research Department of Genetics
University Medical Center Groningen

Trishla Sinha

Medical student, RUG

6 months, Jan-July 2017

My research project at the department of genetics was both intriguing and challenging. It aimed at finding sex differences in gut microbiome composition and functionality, and I also studied the effect of female-specific factors, such as the use of oral contraceptives on gut microbiome. The results of my project showed that females and males have significantly different resistomes, i.e. the collection of genes providing resistance to antibiotics harbored by the microbiota. Females harbor more antibiotic resistant genes, which corresponds with the greater use of antibiotics by females. During the 6 months of my research project I learnt various programming languages, attended meetings and conferences, took part in the department’s journal clubs and learnt how to analyze microbiome big data. It was extremely hard work, however, it was a remarkable opportunity for me to work in a perfect research environment.

I was motivated to continue in the microbiome group and successfully applied for an MD/PhD place in the department. My PhD project is entitled: Metagenomic characterization of the female and infant gut mcirobiome.

The main aim of my PhD research is to identify factors that shape the maternal and infant gut microbiomes, focusing on birth and environmental factors and working on the prospective cohort of Lifelines Next, which will eventually consist of 1500 mother-baby pairs.

Last modified:03 January 2018 1.50 p.m.