Former STAR PhD Fellow and STAR Postdoc Fellow
Christian B. Andersen
Current position: Department Head
In 2004 I decided to enrol in the STAR programme at Novo Nordisk as an Industrial PhD fellow. My PhD project was focused on understanding some of the biophysical problems associated with proteins – more specifically the stability of the peptide glucagon which readily forms insoluble protein aggregates when dissolved in buffer.
As a STAR fellow you are encouraged to go abroad to acquire new knowledge and learn techniques not available at Novo Nordisk R&D. Another important aspect of going abroad is the opportunity to build an international network, which may benefit both your own career and Novo Nordisk R&D. During my PhD I visited three labs around the world: the University of Sussex, England, the University of Osaka, Japan, and the National Research Council in Palermo, Italy.
Thanks to a STAR International PostDoc fellowship, I was able to return to the National Research Council in Palermo to continue my studies of protein stability. The research in Palermo focuses on the kind of biophysics that interests me the most: obtaining a physical understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in protein aggregation using a variety of biophysical techniques.
The STAR programme funding made it possible for me to live abroad and experience an international lab environment and, on a more personal level, broaden my understanding of other cultures. The STAR PhD and PostDoc fellowships have provided me with valuable insight into the worlds of both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. I finished my postdoctoral studies in 2010 and was fortunate to get a position as a research scientist at Novo Nordisk within the field of protein biophysics.