I carried out my undergraduate studies at FCT/Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal, where I obtained a BSc degree in Biochemistry, during which I had the chance to participate in the Erasmus exchange program in south Sweden. Later, I returned to Lund University (LU) to pursue master studies in Biotechnology. During my thesis work I had the first contact with CHO cells as the organism of choice for production of therapeutic glycoproteins used for treatment of severe human diseases. This company-based project regarded the expression levels of key enzymes involved in CHO’s glycosylation pathway. Afterwards, as a research student assistant at the Biomedical Center at LU, I took part of a project where I worked towards the development of an in vitro assay for assessment of trans-splicing efficiency in embryonic cells from BACHD mouse model and in fibroblasts cells of human origin for the treatment of Huntington’s disease through gene therapy.
Why have you chosen to do a PhD in an international collaboration project?
Being part of Innovative Training Network (ITN) provides great training opportunities in well-known research groups from universities around Europe. Furthermore, it is a great chance to be connected to forward thinkers from the academia and industry in this research field. It also allows for collaborating with an international network of skilled early stage researchers.
My lab and the PhD-project I am doing
My host institution is the Novo Nordisk Foundation-Center for Biosustainability, at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). As part of eCHO Systems ITN, my PhD project aims to address the formation of by-products during cell culture, as these affect growth, viability and productivity, through cell engineering. In our lab we use CRISPR/Cas9 as the genome-editing tool for the generation of cells lines with improved phenotypes.
Sara Pereira, DTU