Today, let’s introduce Che Fai Alex Wong, from Partner NTNU (Norway)
Alex Wong is currently a PhD research fellow at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science of NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Let’s find out more about him and his experience with MetaFluidics in this latest “Meet the MetaFluidics team” interview!
- What exactly are you working on ?
In Biotechnology, we generally utilize bacteria as “micro-factories” with the usual aim to produce valuable products, such as enzymes. Expressing and producing an enzyme in large quantities is not always a straightforward matter, which requires the development of molecule parts/ tools to overcome different challenges. As an example, I am trying to expand the promoter repertoire in alternative expression hosts, which should provide additional flexibility when working with these unusual bacteria.
- What work have you accomplished so far for your PhD and what are your remaining objectives?
I am currently “wrapping” up work from two projects and hopefully convert them into publications. As a team, we have presented the MetaFluidics project in different local and international podiums, such as the Centre for Digital Life Norway, the Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School etc.. My remaining objective is to (hopefully) defend my PhD and gain my title (not sure) in less than a year.
- What is the most important thing you are looking for in your professional life?
For me, one of the most exciting parts of research is to learn new ideas from others, usually from reading articles but sometimes from chit-chats during conferences. You are often amazed by other achievements, and it’s even greater if you can integrate these ideas into your own work.
- What have you learnt from the international / European experience within the MetaFluidics project?
The MetaFluidics project brings in expertise from all around Europe, and it’s an incredible experience to meet and work with people across research disciplines, e.g. extremophile studies, development of microfluidic devices etc.. I received consistent help from our Spanish partner on the usage of thermophilic bacteria, and in return we try to provide useful molecular tools for their work.
- A more personal question now… What helps you to overcome the difficulties of life?
Often difficulties of life are beyond one’s control, and the most important issue is (try) to stay calm and keep going till the situation gets better. Sometimes it’s easy to forget your work is not your whole life, which requires a self-reminder from time-to-time.