Kasper Bendix Johnsen, PhD student 19. October 2017

  • Why did you become a scientist?

    I became a scientist because I am fascinated by knowledge and how to obtain it. Findings answers to the unresolved questions that is the foundation of science, is a great motivation for me. I cannot say that it was my dream since birth to study brain diseases, because it would not be true. However, in my first neuroanatomy course, I was instantly fascinated by the complexity of the brain and the underlying problems that remain unresolved, for example the issue of poor drug delivery. Also, I was fortunate to become introduced to brain research very early in my studies at Aalborg University, which further stimulated my drive to pursue a career as a brain researcher. 

  • Can you tell us about your career path to date?

    I hold a Master’s degree in Medicine with Industrial Specialization from Aalborg University. This education combines a clinically focused Bachelor’s programme with a biomedical research focused Master’s programme. This has given me good insight both in the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of a given diseases and the resulting symptoms that these mechanisms impose on the patient. I have worked as a spare-time researcher with Professor Torben Moos since early 2011 on projects related to understanding the neuroinflammatory process of Parkinson’s disease and brain drug delivery. Furthermore, I wrote my Master’s thesis in the field of drug delivery to brain tumors, and so, the field of brain drug delivery has been a great interest for me for quite some time.

    In the last three years, I have worked as a PhD student on a project regarding the transferrin receptor as a target for brain drug delivery. This project has thrived in the RIBBDD consortium, because I have had the opportunity to travel around Denmark and work in the different collaborating labs. For me this illustrates how bringing groups together that have very different fields of expertise can really move a research project forward.

  • What are you working on at the moment?

    I am currently finishing my dissertation based on the projects on transferrin receptor-targeting, which have been a focus for me for the past three years. 

  • What are your research plans for the next five years?

    I hope to continue in the field of brain drug delivery research. In my PhD project, I have discovered several ways of how not to do it, but I also think that we have made good progress in some aspects of our strategy, which I would like to investigate further. 

  • What do you do when you are not working?

    I spend time with my family and friends. I have a son and await one more, so this of course takes the main part of my spare time. When time allows it, I like to listen to music and play guitar. However, because my wife and I have the same education, the daily dinner discussions tend to focus on research and health care related to our respective jobs.