Career Chats 2017

Ida Holst Bekker-Jensen

Ida Holst Bekker-Jensen has a background in biochemistry and obtained her PhD at BRIC, University of Copenhagen.

Ida currently works as a patent attorney at the private consulting agency, Budde Schou A/S, she is involved in the entire patent lifecycle from drafting the application and until the patent expires and possibly beyond.

Ida’s work involves drafting patent applications, correspondence with relevant authorities as well as working with lawyers in the context of court proceedings related to patents.

Simon Holst Bekker-Jensen

Simon H. Bekker Jensen is 38 years old and has been an independent group leader for two years. His career has been slightly unusual at several levels. He was initially trained as an engineer in biotechnology but pursued a PhD in cancer research which set him on his current path.

He chose not to go abroad for post-doctoral studies, but rather co-founded a new group with a more experienced colleague. For 10 years he worked on basic mechanisms of the DNA damage response, before he chose to build his independent career on studying MAP kinase driven stress responses.

With a strong emphasis on the basic biological science, they are pursuing novel therapeutic strategies for diseases such as cancer, metabolic and infectious diseases as well as aging.

karen_o_hanlon _cohrt
Karen O'Hanlon Cohrt

Karen O’Hanlon Cohrt completed an Honors Bachelor in Biological Sciences (2007) and a PhD in Biotechnology (2011) at Maynooth University in Ireland. She then moved to Denmark and held back-­‐to-­‐back postdoctoral positions at Aarhus University and later at Copenhagen University.

Karen now works in Scientific Sales, helping researchers to find the right solutions for molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, and beyond. Her broad research background provides a solid technical foundation to support scientists working in diverse areas, and she finds it exciting to stay abreast of new research in the process.

This work also complements her passion for scientific communication, which started out as a hobby in 2014 to share scientific and medical advances with fellow scientists and the public.

Karen is always open to hearing about new opportunities, in particular within scientific communications, so do get in touch if you have a suggestion for collaboration!

Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel comes from the states. He holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2001 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Daniel received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular genetics in 2006 from the University of Virginia.

Afterwards, Jeremy obtained a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health, NIH, and within these years he learned to do excellent research. Experience from NIH allowed him to start his own research group at the University of Copenhagen within the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR) in 2012.

Here they obtained competitive funding and published a few stories in well-respected journals, some of which built upon discoveries made during his postdoc.

After five and a half years, Jeremy left his academic research career behind and moved towards utilizing his scientific experience and skills as a writer and communicator. In his current post at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Jeremy gets to develop new research initiatives supporting scientific research of the highest quality.

Janine Erler

Janine Erler is a tenured full Professor in cancer biology at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC), University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she researches how the tumour microenvironment drives cancer progression. Janine obtained her PhD in 2003 in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Manchester, UK.

Janine then did her post-doctoral training at Stanford University for four years before returning to the UK in 2008 to set up her own lab at the Institute of Cancer Research, and moved her lab to BRIC in Denmark in 2012. While still at school, Janine spent a summer working at Bayer AG in Germany.

She then worked for one year at AstraZeneca in the UK as an Industrial Placement Student. Janine filed a patent based on her research at Stanford, and recently filed a patent application at KU. She is co-founder of a start-up company developing new anti-cancer therapies, spun out of her lab at the University of Copenhagen.

Juan R. García Soria

Juan R. Garcia Soria is a molecular biologist specialized in Business Management within the Biopharmaceutical sector and entrepreneur with focus in life sciences. Juan’s experience ranges from applied clinical research to pharmaceuticals.

He is currently the Chairman of the Biotechnology Business Institute and Managing Partner at BioSeed Capital, both focus in entrepreneurship and in early stage investments in drug discovery.

Tomas Jacso

Tomas Jacso is a scientist with significant depth in biophysical sciences and technologies – in both academic fundamental research and private drug discovery. He currently holds the title of Research Scientist at specialty pharmaceutical company Nuevolution A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tomas completed his Masters studies in Chemical Engineering, specializing in Physical-Chemistry at The Royal Technological University in Stockholm, Sweden. This was followed by PhD studies at the Leibniz Institute für Molekulare Pharmakologie, Berlin, Germany.

Fundamental research studies were now changed into drug discovery projects when starting a 3-year Postdoc at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden. This led to moving to Copenhagen and the pharmaceutical company Nuevolution A/S, which uses DNA Encoded Library (DEL) Technology to development new small-molecule drugs.

The DEL-technology enables an unprecedented ability to screen for new small-molecules. Current tasks include Project Management and Execution, Method and technology development, and finding externalization opportunities through collaborations.

Helen Lee

Dr Helen Lee, Chairman and CEO of the Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd received her MSc and PhD from University of Oxford and Cornell University, respectively. After post-doctoral training at Churchill Hospital in Oxford, University of Geneva and St Louis Hospital in Paris, she began her career in diagnostics at the Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine in Paris.

She joined Abbott Laboratories as head of an R&D group, which developed one of the most successful products in Abbott — the HTLV-1 blood screening assay. She was promoted to General Manager and focused on developing products based on a novel nucleic acid amplification technology, the Ligase Chain Reaction.

After Abbott, she co-founded a biotech company, which was successfully sold to a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. She then left industry for the University of Cambridge to focus on the development of diagnostic technologies for resource-limited settings. To commercialise the products, she founded Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd in 2002.

Federico de Masi

After many years at the bench and many more as a bioinformatician, Federico is now spending most of his professional time managing and coordinating projects at Intomics A/S. As a Senior Project Manager, he is in constant direct communication with their customers and ensure that their projects run smoothly and successfully. In addition to this position, he am also working in the group of Prof. Søren Brunak as data and computing infrastructure manager for a major pan-European, IMI funded, project on diabetes research (DIRECT). Finally, he am also main responsible of the “Patents in Biotechnology” course on the online learning platform ‘Coursera’ and he does coordinate the “Intellectual Property in Biotech and Pharma” course at the Technical University of Denmark. He is also a Scientific advisor at the BBIP MSc at the Copenhagen Business School.

David Pina

David Pina, who is Portuguese but was born in Paris, has worked at the Research Executive Agency in Brussels since 2009, where he has been responsible for the management of FP7 and H2020 grant portfolios and organising evaluation exercises, first for the Marie Curie Actions, and currently for the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation Programme.

He graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and obtained his PhD from the University of Salamanca, Spain. He was a postdoctoral fellow for three years, first at the Curie Institute, France, and later at the University of Cambridge, UK, before joining the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission back in 2007.

E-ri Maria Sol

E-ri Maria Sol is a researcher – turned – Patent examiner at Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKTPO) and now perform searches and examines patent applications on inventions within Biotechnology received by the DKTPO and submitted by individuals/companies seeking legal protection. E-ri Maria’s switch in career path to Patent examiner (wherein the work as a patent examiner involves a combination of scientific expertise, analytical thinking, language skills and intellectual property laws) was made possible due to E-ri Maria’s solid scientific knowledge and hands-on experience with several technologies. E-ri Maria holds a Master’s degree and a PhD in Medical Science from Uppsala University, Sweden, and a postdoc tenure at Novo Nordisk Foundation for Protein Research, Copenhagen funded by the Swedish Research Council. In E-ri Maria’s spare-time, she enjoys participating in Hackathons.

Jörg Stange

Jörg Stange received his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 2012 and spent six Postdoc years at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge (UK), working as an immunobiologist.

In parallel to his work at the bench, Jörg received extensive training on communication and presentation skills early during his career. He also extended his skillset by participating in the UK’s 2012 “Biotechnology YES” young entrepreneurs competition, where his team reached the London final. Jörg joined the hfp consulting team in 2013 to pursue his career in the field of personal and professional development of scientists.

Still at the Babraham Institute, he coordinated two equality and diversity projects and worked to improve the framework for postdocs, e.g. by establishing a mentoring programme. Jörg is now based in Hamburg, developing the hfp consulting business in Europe and working internationally as a trainer for the company.

Louise von Stechow

Louise von Stechow is an associate at Catenion, a management consulting firm devoted to helping pharmaceutical and medical products companies create more innovative and effective strategies and organizations.

Before joining Catenion she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen, received a PhD from the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research in Leiden, Netherlands and a Diploma in Biology from the Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany.

Louise can give an overview over the work in a biopharma management consultancy, an overview of a typical consultant’s day and the skill sets, which a biopharma management consultant should bring to the table and highlight my experiences in transitioning from academia to consulting.

Emanuele Storti

Emanuele Storti is General Board Member in Eurodoc (European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers) and in ADI (Italian Association of PhD candidates and PhDs).

He received a PhD in Computer Science in 2012 and currently works as a postdoctoral researcher and adjunct professor at Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona, Italy).

His research interests include knowledge discovery and management, semantic technologies for interoperability and open data.

Sofia Waldemarson

Sofia Waldemarson is a Scientific Advisor in the biopharmaceutical industry for Bristol-Myers Squibb. She is dedicated to make an immediate, positive impact on patients’ life by contributing to bringing of innovative medicine to patients.

Sofia holds a PhD in Immunotechnology and have 10 years’ postdoctoral research experience in translational cancer research focusing on biomarker discovery, verification, validation and technology development for diagnostics.

Sofia also has experience from leading the precision medicine in cancer initiative in a governmental strategic innovation program (Swelife).

This work included driving cross-functional collaborations brining academia, industry and health-care sectors together to realize a value- and evidence-based health-care.

Rosella Visintin

Rosella Visintin is a principal investigator at European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy. Her expertise and research interests lie in the molecular mechanisms regulating cell cycle, particularly regarding its deregulation during tumorigenesis.

Rosella received her PhD in Biology at the University of Milan, and subsequently moved to Boston to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in Prof. Angelika Amon’s laboratory at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research and the MIT Cancer Center. After winning a prestigious grant from Harvard-Armenise foundation, she moved to European Institute of Oncology in 2005 as a principal investigator.

In 2012 she won the HHMI First International Early Career Scientist Award, instituted from Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, USA. Rosella is actively engaged in science communication activities and also plays an important supporting role for PhD students at her institute as the chief of the educational committee for PhD. Students programs.

Jiri Lukas

Jiri Lukas is from the Czech Republic and graduated from the Veterinary University in 1986. Following his PhD in zoology and early work in experimental oncology, Jiri moved first to Oxford (to the group of Paul Nurse) and then to the EMBL in Heidelberg (to Giulio Draetta’s group).

This postdoctoral experience had a strong formative impact on his career and research interests. In 1993, Jiri Lukas moved to Denmark and was appointed senior researcher at the Cancer Society in Copenhagen. In 2005, this unit was integrated into the Center for Genotoxic Stress Research, which received a prestigious grant from the Danish National Research Foundation, and of which Jiri Lukas became a director.

In 2012, Jiri Lukas was appointed Professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, and Executive Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

René Bindels

René Bindels studied Biology at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands and subsequently obtained his PhD at the same university. Thereafter, he was a postdoc at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

In 1988, he returned to the Netherlands where he obtained an assistant professorship in renal physiology. Currently, René is the chair of Physiology at the Radboud university medical center, and also the scientific director of the Radboud Insitute for Molecular Life Sciences.

René is as physiologist interested in the regulation of ion transport processes in kidney and small intestine in health and disease. He is responsible for several physiology courses for medical and health science students.

He is an elected member of the Academia Europaea and recipient of the Robert Pitts Lectureship of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, Carl W. Gottschalk Lectureship of the American Physiological Society and Homer Smith award of the American Society of Nephrology.

Joan Guinovart

Joan J. Guinovart is a group leader at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona. He graduated in Chemistry and Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona, where he also received a PhD in Biochemistry.

Joan completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia (USA). Joan has also possessed a wide range of academic positions and held various administrative appointments, such as chairman of a university department and director of a research institute.

He has also served as president of national and international learned societies, namely the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM), the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies (COSCE) and the International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (IUBMB).

Today, he is a recognized full-time researcher, focusing on glycogen metabolism, with a special emphasis on its alteration in diabetes and lafora disease.

Lucas Sánchez

Lucas holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology and has a dilated research experience working on the development of vaccines against Third World Diseases at the National Center of Biotechnology (Spain) and Yale School of Medicine (USA).

He is a widely recognized science communicator that has collaborated with different newspapers (Público, El País), radios (Radio Nacional de España), dissemination platforms (Naukas), blogs (Sonicando), universities (UPV, UPB and UIMP) and science museums. Nowadays he is the co-founder and Director of Scienseed, a science communication agency.