Trond Vidar Hansen
Position: Research Associate in the laboratory of
Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless.
Projects: Learning about "click chemistry," a modular
protocol for organic synthesis developed by Sharpless and
colleagues, and applying this knowledge to his project on
peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs). PPARs
are important for lipid metabolism, and are potential drug
targets for diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. "The
click reaction we are currently using between terminal acetylenes
and azides is surprisingly neat," says Hansen. "It has tremendous
Started at Scripps Research: January 2004.
Funding: Hansen's postdoc is funded by a fellowship
from the Fulbright Scholar Program, which was established
by Congress in 1946 to build mutual understanding between
the people of the United States and other countries. "Thank
you to the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation for its great
support," Hansen says, "and to Dr. Sharpless and his team
for welcoming me to the lab."
Background: Bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry
from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.
Ph.D. from University of Oslo. Postdoc at the University of
Oslo, School of Pharmacy.
Experience at Scripps Research: "Scripps is a great
place. I have been impressed by the high standards of academics
and research. What amazes me the most is the interaction among
scientists in different fields, such as computer chemistry,
biology, and medicinal chemistry. There is always someone
to ask if you have questions."
Career Plans: Hansen will begin a position as associate
professor in medicinal chemistry at the University of Oslo
in September. "It would be wonderful if I could continue to
collaborate with Scripps Research scientists from Norway."
Thoughts on the State of Science in Norway: "Norway
is a small country with only 4.5 million people and an economy
based on raw productsoil, gas, minerals, fish. The Norwegian
government is trying to offset these disadvantages for the
country's science by encouraging international contacts among
students and professionals.
"I would like to bring back some of the things I learn in
the United Statesnot only the science but also some
of the means of funding research and the entrepreneurial spiritand
see if they can be adapted to Norwegian society. "
Extracurriculars: In Norway, Hansen hikes, swims,
and roller blades in the summer and skis and ice skates in
the winter. In California, he has been exploring the desert,
the mountains, and the cities. "I was pleasantly surprised
to find I could ski in the mountains here. I never would have
thought I would find snow in Southern California!"
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu