Sarah Christine Christensen, PhD student12. October 2017
Why did you become a scientist?
Growing up as a daughter of a nurse who has worked in psychiatry for 29 years and a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, I experienced how brain disorders can impact life quality. This has, together with my inquiring personality, given me a personal interest in brain diseases and incited me to do research within the field of neuroscience, in order to help expand the possible treatment of these diseases. Moreover, I really enjoy the research process – both the practical work in the laboratory and the project management.
Can you tell us about your career path to date?
I hold a Master’s degree in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Copenhagen, which is an interdisciplinary program with courses in both science and health, thus providing me with a broad understanding of molecular mechanisms and how they are linked to human diseases.
Currently, my research focusses on antibodies and characterization of intracellular trafficking routes. During my bachelor project, I established a protocol for papain fragmentation of an IgM antibody into Fab fragments. The Fab fragments have later been used for pancreatic beta-cell imaging studies in rats. I did my Master’s project at H. Lundbeck A/S where I characterized the sorting routes of anti-sortilin therapeutic antibodies for treatment of frontotemporal dementia in patients with mutations in the progranulin gene. Currently, I am in my second year of my PhD where I am characterizing the trafficking routes of different receptors in brain endothelial cells in order to find an optimal target for receptor-mediated drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier.
What are you working on at the moment?
Our group at Aarhus University is mainly focusing on receptor sorting mechanisms in brain endothelial cells. Right now, I am characterizing the expression profile of four possible targets at the blood-brain barrier using the porcine and rat in vitro blood-brain barrier model.
What are your research plans for the next five years?
My main goal for the future is to continue to do research, preferrably by working on independent research projects, which is why I though a PhD degree was a natural stepping stone. I hope that one day I will be a part of a research group, which contributes with new knowledge in the field of neuroscience and thereby provides the basis for development of new potential drugs against brain diseases.
What do you do when you are not working?
I put a lot of effort into my PhD project, but I like to paint with watercolors and go for a run when I need to clear my thoughts. Most of my time I am in Aarhus, but when I am in Copenhagen I prioritize to spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.
PhD defence: Sarah Christine Christensen
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Sarah Christine Christensen will defend her PhD thesis...
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