Especially working together with colleauges from many different countries is a plus thinking about how much can be learned from each other during laboratory or office time but also making friends with people from all over the world and leaving one selves comfort zone by living in a foreign country to become more open minded and self organized.
Within my ITN project I am interested to develop CHO cell lines with defined homogenous N-glycan profiles starting with wildtype cell lines harboring very heterogeneous N-glycan profiles. Therefore the mechanism of the N-glycosylation pathway has to be well understood and has to be modified by knock-outs of CHO glycosylation enzymes or overexpression of non-CHO glycosylation enzymes. Since N-glycosylation is a major quality attribute of recombinant proteins and affects immunogenicity, serum-half life and efficacy we want to show that it is possible to produce diverse therapeutic proteins with improved N-glycan profiles in glyco-engineered CHO cells. Within DTU I carry out my project in a team of several PhD students, Technical Assistants, Post-Docs and Scientists under the supervision of Mikael R. Andersen and Helene F. Kildegaard.
With all the experiences I made so far I can really recommend candidates who are interested in an ITN PhD Program to take this opportunity of working and living in a foreign country and creating an international network plus growing personally but also in scientific knowledge.
In the beginning, all it takes is you taking the first step of the application and being open minded for all the great experiences ahead.
Why have you chosen to do a PhD in an international collaboration project?
My name is Thomas from Germany and I joined the ITN within Denmarks Technical University (DTU) at the age of 28. After I finished High School I first completed a three-year job training as a Biological Lab Technician at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG in south Germany. Here, the focus was on mammalian physiology, molecular biology and CHO-based pharmaceutical production of therapeutic proteins. At this point I already realized the impact and complex interaction between drug research, cell line development and pharmaceutical protein production. With increasing interest in the field, I completed a Bachelor Program in Biology followed by a Master Program in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Ulm University. Writing my Master Thesis within the CHO cell line development of a pharmaceutical company the eCHO ITN position at DTU was the perfect match to receive experience in an international collaboration project.
Thomas Amann, DTU