PhD student, Constance M. Korkor looks back on her experiences at the Next Generation Scientist program 2019 by Novartis and University of Basel
Constance M. Korkor, a PhD student with the KC academic group was among 20 talented and innovative scientists in various fields in drug discovery and development as well as clinicians to participate in the three months intensive Next Generations Scientist (NGS) Program. In a bid to establish sustainable research and build scientific research capacity in low and middle-income countries, Novartis’s research and development laboratories followed by accreditation from the University of Basel rolled out the NGS program. This program’s central theme involves individualized mentoring and research activities that are tailored to the needs of each participant.
Constance Joined the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics department of Novartis Pharma AG and worked on the project ‘Building a modular System of chemically modified dcas9 for epigenetic gene regulation’’. She acquired valuable skills in chemical synthesis on proteins, protein engineering and purification of engineered proteins, chemical synthesis of probes to study modulation of DNA transcription and running and interpreting protein gels. As a trained Chemist running a mechanism of action studies project, these new skills diversified her research experience and served as an introduction the biology aspect of her project. In addition to the immense scientific wealth and rich diversity available at the Basel campus, a series of learning sessions aimed at building leadership, scientific communication skills and overall confidence was essential for scientists coming from low- and middle-income countries.
‘’In Novartis, reimagining medicine is the goal and bringing that back to my University and to my research group, I believe it is time to reimagine every experiment we conduct’’
One year on and Constance still falls back on her experiences, knowledge and skills acquired at the NGS program to run her PhD project.
NGS 2019 promotional video: https://youtu.be/FXU92N8vAHM