Jonas Christoffer Fordsmann, PhD student01. June 2018

  • What motivated you to become a scientist?

    Since childhood I have been fascinated by science fiction, especially cyborgs and artificial intelligence caught my interest. During high school, I realized that the opportunity as a researcher for constant gain of knowledge, practical and technical challenges, and forming novel hypothesis, was a versatile luxury only found in few jobs. I dreamt that understanding how the brain works would pave the way for artificial intelligence and change the world as we know it.

  • How did you end up doing what you do today?

    At a student counselor meeting at the University of Copenhagen, I was advised to study medicine, physics or psychology to become a neuroscientist. The dream of fully unveiling the secrets of the brain was challenged at the very first page of my first medicine textbook (Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology). They claimed it impossible to map all neurons of the human brain and their connections. They might be right, but this should not stop anyone from trying. After my medicine bachelor thesis on brain-computer interface, my supervisor Jens Midtgaard luckily guided me to Professor Martin Lauritzen’s group. Here I did my Master’s project on the control of neurovascular coupling following cortical spreading depolarization waves, a phenomenon associated with migraine, stroke, and acute brain trauma, which ended out in a first author publication in Journal of Neuroscience. While finishing medical school and internships in medicine and psychiatry, I stayed connected to Martin Lauritzen’s group, and am now wrapping up the papers for my Ph.D. project.

  • What are you working on at the moment?

    During my Ph.D. project, I have worked with the in vivo effects of stroke and aging on neurovascular coupling and Ca2+ signaling in neurons and astrocytes.

  • What do you think the most exciting thing about being a scientist is?

    The best thing about being a scientist is the diversity of the tasks in the different phases of a project. One of my favorite tasks is setting up novel methods. During my Ph.D. project, I enjoyed the most to learn basic programming skills.

  • What do you do when you are not working?

    I have four-year-old twin girls, so luckily many hours are spent on wonderful family activities and keeping up the household. Although I love hanging out with old friends, family, and my wife, based on my behavior, I think neuroscience is my main hobby.