Shan Fang, Industrial PhD Fellow, Novo Nordisk R&D STAR programme

Out of the lab

I like ice skating, going to the beach and going out with colleagues and friends. Just having arrived in Denmark, I am adjusting to new surroundings, people and a different climate. One thing that is very different here, is that there are very few people in the street compared to my home town, Beijing. Even during rush hour you can normally find a seat on the metro!

Shan Feng

STAR International PhD Fellow

“The STAR Programme has given me the chance to follow my dream and pursue research in my area of interest.”

My life as a STAR fellow

I graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology from Zhejiang University, China. For the last three years I have been employed as a research associate at the Novo Nordisk R&D site located in ZhongGuanCun Life Science Park outside of Beijing. Already now, Novo Nordisk has become an important part of my life. The Chinese site is an integrated part of the global R&D organisation and I have worked with many different projects and global project teams. I must say I love doing this kind of scientific research.

First Industrial PhD STAR fellow from Chinese R&D

I still remember when I first heard about the STAR programme. The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation was announcing a new PhD programme for Chinese scientists. Novo Nordisk R&D was looking for Chinese candidates interested in applying for these three year Industrial PhD fellowships in Denmark. I realized it would be a golden opportunity for me to pursue my interest in pharmaceutical research, while at the same time continuing to work with Novo Nordisk. I applied and was fortunate to get one of the first of these PhD fellowships intended for Chinese students. As an industrial PhD student, I conduct my research both in Novo Nordisk R&D labs and at the local university. I enjoy having both senior scientist supervisors from my company and academic guidance from Professor Carsten Geisler at the University of Copenhagen. The aim of my PhD project is to identify mechanisms involved in the elimination and regulation of specific cell subtypes of the immune system.

Moving to Denmark

With support of the STAR programme I got the opportunity to move to Denmark, and to work with some of the world’s leading scientists within inflammatory diseases. It has given me the chance to follow my dream and pursue research in my area of interest. I like the atmosphere at Novo Nordisk. It is not only a place to work but also a good place to develop a career, to make friends and to discuss scientific questions. I am sure Novo Nordisk will always be my first choice of employment after finishing my PhD.