University of Dundee

Jens Hukelmann

I studied in Hanover where graduated with a diploma degree in Biochemistry in 2010 where I was characterising a mitotic kinesin in Dictyostelium discoideum in the lab of Prof. Tsiavaliaris at the Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. The study course was carried out by the University, the Medical Highschool and the Veterinary Highschool in Hanover, thus providing me with a very broad spectrum of research fields. During my studies we were offered the opportunity to study abroad which led me to the College of the College of Life Sciences. I got interested into the research of the BCDD so fortunately I was able to spend three months in Prof. Mike Ferguson’s lab undertaking a research project in 2009.

Up to that point I wanted to do my PhD research in Germany but the possibilities the College was (and of course still is) offering to scientists and which I discovered during my internship made me reconsider my plan. The CLS is not only equipped with high-calibre staff and cutting edge equipment but I also experienced a scientific community that benefits from tightly connected and collaborating individuals. I also appreciate the collaborations the CLS maintains with several pharmaceutical companies and its professional approach to translate basic biomedical research into applied medicine. In addition to that I was stunned by the Scottish landscape: Living close to the sea and still being able to go hiking in the nearby Highlands is just amazing.

Due to my broad research interests I applied for the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme with its possibility to do three rotations in different labs throughout the CLS before starting the actual my PhD.

I started my first Rotation in Kevin Read’s lab in the Drug Discovery Unit. I am adopting and validating a novel assay to analyse the plasma protein and brain tissue binding of novel chemical entities. This is important step in the preclinical development of new drugs and helps putting the good into the pot and the bad into the crop. The analysis makes use of state-of-the-art Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography which is available in the Drug Discovery Unit.