Kitt Emilie Østerlid
In 2015 I decided to pursue a scientific career, as I have always been interested in nature and the mechanisms behind. I started studying chemistry at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where I quite fast found an interest for organic chemistry. I did my Bachelor’s thesis at assoc. Prof. Christian Marcus Pedersen where I worked with glycosylation reactions using trichloroacetyl glucuronic acid donors. During my time in the group, my interest for carbohydrate chemistry spiked. After finishing my Bachelor degree, I continued at University of Copenhagen for my Master in Organic chemistry. In my Master’s thesis project, I worked with the synthesis of well-defined oncofetal chondroitin sulfate oligomers, again under the supervision of assoc. Prof. Christian Marcus Pedersen. This project opened my attention in how carbohydrates can be useful for a medical purpose and as I found this collaboration quite interesting, I wanted to continue my scientific career within this research topic.
As from November 2020 I became a fellow of the PAVax project joining the group of Prof. Dr. J.D.C. Codee at Leiden University. The aim of my work is to synthesize well-defined fragments of capsular polysaccharide of Gram-positive bacteria. These compounds give an insight for understanding interactions with the immune system why the hope is to use these for development of vaccines. This position offers me the possibility to obtain further knowledge on carbohydrate chemistry as well as the possibility to explore the biological field.