Hopefully you’re all still tuned in, because this week’s blog is about me: Jordi Keijzer, secretary of the committee that organizes the upcoming trip to Israel. I am the proud owner of a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, attained at Leiden University, with a specialization in Chemical Biology. Now I’m not sure all of this rings any bells, but it means that I’m right at home in the Organic Chemistry department (ORC) at Wageningen University and Research Centre, where I am currently employed as a PhD candidate. Other than this, I’m not that special; just a guy who likes sports, animals, tv-series and computer games.
My work at ORC covers a great deal of synthetic and biochemical work, all of which are part of my project to employ new chemical tools for efficient modification of bio-macromolecules. Again, for the layman this might not immediately summon a clear image of what I’m doing, so for illustrative purposes, I’ll give you an example:
Chemotherapy is a familiar way of treatment for cancer patients. Although an effective strategy, the drugs used for chemotherapy bring along a lot of (nasty) side-effects for the patient. These effects are the direct consequence of the drug molecule damaging tissue other than the tumour. Now if we would be able to attach a guiding unit to the drug that would allow it to better locate the tumour, this will decrease the collateral damage that the therapy causes. That’s where my research comes in, since it concerns the exploration of a new methodology to perform the conjugation of the aforementioned drug and guiding unit. And during this research I not only get to synthesize new molecules, I get to test them out myself, which is pretty neat if you ask me. And if that doesn’t convince you yet, the idea that my research could contribute to improving cancer therapy, will surely give a clear indication of why I am pursuing the field that I am.
I hope you all liked the blog. Please stay on the lookout for our weekly uploads and be sure to check out the our twitter page (https://twitter.com/orc_phds) as well.