My name is Quentin and I am one of the 15 ESRs working on the DNA-Robotics project. I am located in Oxford and I am working with Tom Brown Jr’s team at ATDBio Ltd.
I studied Pharmacy for 6 years at Lille-University where I specialized in Industry and Research. This pathway leads to many different fields, ranging from Quality Control to Market Access studies. Facing so many options, I had to make a decision. I’ve always enjoyed making connections between the different lessons I had, so I decided to specialize in Medicinal Chemistry. Translational Science is the perfect way to put all your knowledge in application and to exploit your scientific curiosity.
Besides Pharmacy, I always had an interest in entrepreneurship. To me, entrepreneurship means being independent, free to explore ideas and taking risks to develop them. You learn new things every day and you meet people you would have never talked to otherwise.
In 2016, when Alexander, a friend of mine, asked me if I wanted to found a junior company with him, I immediately said yes. Roughly, our objective was to connect pharmacy students and pharmaceutical companies over a precise mission.
Creating this structure was the perfect way to acquire knowledge about company creation and management without any risks. The worst thing that could have happened was that it didn’t work. But it did! I had to leave the board after 2 years as my professional projects would not allow me to be fully invested in the company anymore, but it was a great experience.
I believe that research matches entrepreneurship very well. Entrepreneurship is all about connecting the right people at the right time so your project can come to a successful conclusion, and so is research.
As part of my master’s degree I went to Gothenburg in Sweden for 6 months. I worked on a small molecule project at AstraZeneca where I met great colleagues and felt more confident in the lab. Being abroad made me realise that we don’t live in a small world after all, and that I wanted to discover new places.
So, I looked for positions abroad and found this very innovative topic mixing DNA and Robotics. As I mostly worked with small molecules during my internships, I knew very little about oligonucleotides. I only knew that their potential in therapeutic is really important (we can fight Duchenne disease in some patients for instance) and the very basis of oligo-chemistry. So, when I had a closer look into the topic, I realised how great it could be to work on such technologies. I have a lot to learn and discover, and I believe that this is the greatest part of the story.