Chemistry benefits the body

Jes Schmidt-Petersen, with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Technology from the Technical University of Denmark, has chosen Drug Development as his area of specialisation.

Jes Schmidt-Petersen, Drug Development, MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences

I changed my academic direction, because I wanted to use my chemistry training specifically for drug development. I needed the biological dimension, which is a large part of the academic programme at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. When I was studying engineering, I did a lot of calculations for process equipment, for example, but now my collection of formulas will be used to benefit the body, and that really appeals to me.

Thesis project on proteins

I chose the Drug Development line because the subjects are core pharmaceutical disciplines like drug formulation and production, which are unique to the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

My favourite subject is protein and peptide formulation. Biological drugs based on human proteins are undergoing dramatic development, and about one-third of all new drugs in clinical trials are proteins or peptides. Protein drugs are really nature’s own design, with the advantage that they can have a highly selective effect in the organism on a par with the body’s own hormones or enzymes.

In the spring I will start writing my thesis with the cooperation of Novo Nordisk A/S, where I will be working with protein formulation trying to increase the stability of a special preparation for haemophilia.  

"When I started at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences I signed up to play on a student soccer team, and that gave me a bunch of friends in record time. The student environment at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is very social, and it is great to look forward to coming to the university every day.

Jes Schmidt-Petersen

Input from industry

I’ll be writing the thesis project together with a pharmacy student, and I hope we can use our differences as a catalyst for generating new ideas. I have taken some elective courses that pave the way for the thesis. But the great flexibility of the programme has also made it possible for me to choose a course such as Registration, which is part of the Medicines and Society line. It is a great way to gain full understanding of the entire drug life cycle. All the lecturers on the Registration course work in the drug industry and, in general, the close relationship with industry is typical of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.  

In my future career I hope to be able to work further on producing biological drugs, for example protein formulation. But I am also interested in economics and will start working on a business degree this summer.

In the long term I hope I will be able to combine these two fields in a dream job with focus on drug development and drug economics. While there are many opportunities here in Copenhagen, I am also considering taking a job in the USA at some point.

Jes Schmidt-Petersen

Friends from all corners

The biology courses were a challenge in the beginning, but I haven’t regretted my choice of master’s programme for a second. I have taken many of the courses with pharmacy students, and I’ve made a lot of friends from various fields and class years.

When I started at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences I signed up to play on a student soccer team, and that gave me a bunch of friends in record time. The student environment at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is very social, and it is great to look forward to coming to the university every day. I have also gotten to know many of my fellow students through my student job in the registration department of Ferring Pharmaceuticals.