A Personal Touch of Jonas Nørskov Søndergaard

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Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Jonas Nørskov Søndergaard






1. Name & Nationality
Jonas Nørskov Søndergaard, Danish, theme Cancer development and immune defence. 

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an inventor, and figure out how to build a time machine. I got the inspiration from the Back to the Future movies.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I have an M.Sc. in Biotechnological Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. However, my actual master’s thesis project I conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), carrying out pre-clinical and molecular cancer studies on a drug that today is known as Vemurafenib. Subsequently, I conducted a Ph.D. at the Technical University of Denmark, focusing on dendritic cell immunobiology in connection with HIV-1 and M. tuberculosis infections, and trying to figure out how these infections may exploit dendritic cells to become latent infections.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
2,5 years ago I started as a postdoc in the Department of Tumor Immunology in the Adema lab. We are studying a protein (DC-SCRIPT) exclusively expressed by dendritic cells in the immune system, and by normal breast epithelial cells before transforming into breast cancer cells. DC-SCRIPT has been shown to be a promising target for preventing cancer progression and for generating potent immune-stimulatory dendritic cells. However, since DC-SCRIPT gene therapy is not allowed, we are currently focusing on figuring out which pathways it affects in order the find new druggable targets. It is therefore my goal, to understanding the molecular mechanism of DC-SCRIPT, so we can use this information to improve dendritic cell based immunotherapy and/or directly treat cancer patients to avoid cancer progression. 

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. Whatdoes this mean for you?
This is an awesome motto. Most likely understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease will be the only way we can cure diseases such as cancer and AIDS. 

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
That someday my research might be able to help a lot of people with incurable diseases.

7. What is your dream for the future?
I have always been interested in finding a way to engineer the immune system in order to cure incurable diseases. My dream is that I one day will succeed. 

8. Fun-facts. State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with twothat are false? Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.
A: Like other short people, I am secretly planning to take over the world.
B: I have a theory that all Dutch food is brown (stamppot, kroketjes, bitterballetjes etc.)
C: After I broke my arm in a snowboard accident I learned to pipette with my feet.

Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.


Correct answer of Paulo Urbano : A 

Yes, I have six fingers, but my mom cut off the sixth finger five minute after I was born, now I only have a small dot, it is not freaky as you thought!

A: I have polydactyly (I have six fingers in each hand). I'm the evolution baby!
B: Actually, I don't belong on this planet. I'm here just for fun because I like the females
from this planet, exotic specie by the way… and of course, laugh at human technology. PS.: Have you still not understood? You're so lazy, mortals!
C: I saw a unicorn once in Brazil (now the territory of this beautiful creature goes beyond Scandinavia. It is just an awesome finding). 

State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false.

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