My background

Danny  Arends  was  born  on  the  15th  of  Juli  1983  in  the city of Zwolle, located in the middle of the Netherlands. After moving twice, Danny grew up in Heiligerlee, a small village in the north of the Netherlands, where he attended elementary school.

The  small  school  was  a  perfect  match  for  young  Danny during  his  childhood.  Here,  he  quickly  fell  in  love  with mathematics and the wondrous world of numbers and patterns. With the advent of computers at the elementary school, the love for computers and their inner workings also began to develop.

Heiligerlee is located next to a small forest called ‘De Hoogte’. This is were Danny and his friends went to build tree huts on a daily basis, throw snowballs in winter, and wage war with kids from the other school in Heiligerlee. The forest, combined with growing up amidst animals on a farm-like residence, sparked young Danny’s interest in biology.

After  elementary  school,  Danny  went  to  the  Ubbo  Emmius  lyceum  in  Stadskanaal (Groningen). The large scale VWO was a big change compared to the small elementary school. Long hours at school together with a long bus ride to and from school, made for long days. Fortunately new friends were made in the classroom and during the long bus rides. Danny finished high school after 6 years, taking mostly exact courses such as mathematics, physics and chemistry.

At age 17, obtaining a university degree was the next step in his career. Because of his interests in computers, Danny decided that computer science would be a good match. This turned out to be not so true. While deeply intrigued by the subject of computational machines, he was not satisfied with just studying the workings of a machine built by man.

After two years of computer science at the University of Groningen, Danny decided it was time for a change. Computer science was replaced by Life Science & Technology, a bachelor which was recently formed as a collaboration between the Biology faculty and  Medical  Sciences.  He  finished  his  bachelor  in  record  tempo,  partly  due  to  the exemptions obtained from doing two years of computer science.

A master in molecular biology was quickly selected after being introduced to bioinformatics at GBIC during a previous bachelor project. The molecular biology master allowed for customization of the courses taken, and bioinformatics became the main theme in all of the master theses produced.  The  first  thesis:  “Machine  learning  to  predict  transcriptional  regulation  in prokaryotes” was produced in the lab of prof. dr. O. P. Kuipers. The second master thesis: “High performance computing of QTLs for experimental crosses” was done in the lab of prof. dr. R. C. Jansen under the supervision of Pjotr Prins.

After graduating his university master cum laude, Danny started a PHD project in the lab of prof. dr. R. C. Jansen at the Groningen Bioinformatics Centre, with a focus on the use of bioinformatic tools to handle current challenges in genetics and statistics.

Currently Danny is living and working in Berlin, employed by the Humboldt University and working on obesity in the Berlin Fat Mouse.

Last modified: 27 Jul 2015, 10:52 | Edit