Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Bas van Gorp

Date of news: 2 October 2020

What’s your name, nationality, current function, and department?

My name is Bas van Gorp, I am a Dutch second year PhD candidate at the department of Biophysics (DCN).

What is the topic of your PhD project and what does your work look like in practice?

I study a retinal degenerative disease (Leber Congenital Amaurosis), which causes cells in the retina to degenerate, resulting in blindness within the first months of life. A mouse model is used and the aim is to restore the visual system with an optogenetic construct expressed in the retina.
To measure the visual recovery, mice are fixated in a virtual environment setup and can run on an air suspended Styrofoam ball. The virtual environment can present simple visual stimuli or more difficult visual discrimination tasks in order to access the level visual recovery.

What has your career path been so far and how did you come to your current position?

In highschool I realized I had an affinity with biology, which is why I went to study medical biology in Nijmegen. In between highschool and university, I studied in America for a year, where I lived with a host family and studied a range of different classes at a college. Once back I started the bachelor Biology at the Radboud University and continued with the master Medical Biology (specialization Neuroscience). Following my internships, I was offered a junior researcher position, continuing the work I started in my last internship and after a year this was transformed into the PhD track I’m currently in.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was young I wanted to become a teacher, following the profession of my parents and other family members.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Hanging out with friends, sitting around a fire and simply talk.

What is your favorite book and why?

Reading was never my favorite hobby, but Harry Potter was my favorite growing up. Nowadays I always listen to podcasts during my commute to work, where I enjoy Joe Rogan, Radiolab and Dan Carlin’s history podcasts for example.

What are you looking forward to in life?

I would like to one day, build a (self-sufficient) house.