What is your official job title at Bachem?
My function at Bachem is Group Leader R&D in our Oligonucleotides Department.
How long have you been with Bachem?
I started in September 2020, so I am still quite a rookie in my new role.
Briefly, what do you do at Bachem?
In general, we establish efficient processes for the manufacturing of therapeutic oligonucleotides. This includes solid phase oligonucleotide synthesis, cleavage and deprotection, ultrafiltration, chromatographic purification and lyophilization.
What is your academic background?
Before starting in Bubendorf, I was doing my PhD at the Department for Organic Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck and partially at the ISMB at the University College London with a focus on the investigation of RNAs via NMR spectroscopy. Therefore, I was producing numerous 2H/13C/15N-labeled and chemically modified phosphoramidite building blocks in order to incorporate them into RNA sequences.
What do you like to do outside of work?
After leaving the office or the lab I enjoy doing all different kinds of sports like cycling, running, squash, but my passion is definitely football. Beside that I am very fond of cooking, having dinner with friends and traveling the whole world (which is unfortunately quite difficult these days).
What do you like most about your job?
What I appreciate most is collaborating with my competent and utterly supportive colleagues in our department. The team provides a creative and productive atmosphere that makes me come to work highly motivated every morning. In addition, I enjoy the direct contact and fruitful discussions with customers about the chemistry all around the topic oligonucleotides.
Have you had any particular expectation when you came to Bachem and have these been fulfilled?
When I joined Bachem for my first professional experience after leaving university I was hoping to tackle interesting and versatile challenges I can grow with and take responsibility for. Since no day in a new department is like the other, I constantly learn new things and get the chance to have an impact on the establishment of the new business area. That’s exactly what I was looking for!
What is your preferred oligonucleotide?
There is a broad range of fascinating oligonucleotides, but as it was the centerpiece of my first nucleic acid project, I choose tRNAs as my favorite ones. These biological important nucleic acids with a length of about 76 nucleotides are challenging targets for the oligonucleotide synthesis and perfectly suited to study the influence of natural occurring RNA modifications and their impact on RNA’s structure and dynamics.
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