Christine Brender, Scandinavian Return Fellow, Novo Nordisk R&D STAR programme

Out of the lab

Planning a move back to Denmark did not just involve me but also my British husband and our 2½ year-old daughter. We have now all settled-in in our new jobs and day care and are enjoying life in Denmark being close to my Danish relatives.

Christine Brender

Scandinavian Return Fellow

“The STAR Scandinavian Return Fellowship was the perfect opportunity to build on my international experience when going back to my home country.”

My industry career started as a STAR fellow in 2007

The STAR Scandinavian Return Fellowship was the perfect opportunity to build on my international experience when coming back to my home country Denmark. Working overseas was a fantastic experience. I did the last part of my PhD and my PostDoc in Melbourne and London. It exposed me to an array of scientific approaches and taught me a lot of new techniques. But after almost six years abroad, I needed to be closer to home and my family and I began looking for an opportunity to return to Denmark.

Pursuing immune system research via STAR fellowship

My passion for science has always been within the field of immunology. I hope that my research will contribute to a better understanding of the very complex immune system. During my PostDoc years I worked with signalling pathways controlling inflammatory responses in haematopoietic cells in mice. When Novo Nordisk decided to initiate research on autoimmune inflammatory diseases outside of diabetes, it was a great opportunity for me to return to Denmark and apply my immunology knowledge and experience to research directly aimed at better understanding autoimmune diseases.

A foot in the door

When I first started at Novo Nordisk, I had no previous experience with the industry but as a PostDoc in the company I was rapidly exposed to the wide range of activities within science, technology, patenting and project management that occur in a pharmaceutical company. It has been a fantastic learning experience that has allowed me to further develop my scientific skills as well as introduced me to the complicated process of drug development. Working as a STAR PostDoc at Novo Nordisk also gave me the opportunity to establish a network within the company and after completing my STAR fellowship I was offered a permanent position. I now hold a position as a research scientist within monocyte biology research.