Written by: Tom Smith.
From October to December 2022, I had the privilege of visiting the R&D site of Novo Nordisk in Denmark as part of the Kawamura Group’s ongoing collaboration with this pharmaceutical company. It was incredible to experience the cutting-edge science going on there; the company specialises in treating diabetes as well as a variety of other chronic illnesses, and the wealth of expertise they have onsite in peptide chemistry and many other areas was fantastic to be part of. During my placement I was able to undertake various projects including massively parallel peptide synthesis, high throughput screening assays, and DNA library sequencing analysis. As well as improving my skills in these areas which are highly relevant to my own PhD project, my eyes were opened to the multitude of uses of such technology in developing novel treatments.
My visit also coincided with the research chemistry team’s tech day symposium, in which the latest advances in methodology and techniques were showcased. I was invited to give a presentation on the work done so far in my PhD performing mRNA display to generate target binding peptides, which was a great experience, as was hearing about other fascinating projects that the company supports.
I also found some time for some sightseeing and, by virtue of being based in Copenhagen, there was plenty to see and do. I particularly enjoyed going to see the crown jewels at Rosenborg and visiting the Viking longships at Roskilde.
I’d like to thank everyone at Novo Nordisk for making me feel so welcome and part of the team, and especially thank Caroline Nielsen for arranging my visit my and of course, my industrial supervisor Dr Martin Münzel. I do hope you’ll have me back at some point again during my PhD!