NBS Poster Prize

PhD candidate Helene J. Bustad from Biorecognition won the poster prize at this year's NBS Contact Meeting at Røros.

Helene J Bustad
Jennifer A. L. Nunn

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PhD candidate Helene Bustad Johannessen is associated with K.G. Jebsen Centre for Research on Neuropsychiatric Disorders through the research group Biorecognition and The Norwegian Porphyria Centre (NAPOS). She is studying acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), a genetic disease presenting with symptoms including muscle pain and weakness as well as neurological symptoms.  The symptoms are caused when precursors of heme accumulates due to a defective enzyme (hydroxymethylbilane synthase, HMBS) in its synthesis. By high-throughput screening, Helene and her co-workers aim to find small molecular compounds that can bind to such defective HMBS. If the compound stabilizes the enzyme it can help it to work better and avoid the toxic accumulation of precursors.

The Norwegian Biochemical Society (NBS) arranged their 50th contact meeting in the UNESCO-city Røros last week. Helene presented her results on a poster with the title “Identification of potential pharmacological chaperones for treatment of acute intermittent porphyria”. Based on the three criteria "readability", "scientific content" and "sex-factor", she was awarded the 1st prize in a poster-competition – with 79 contestants!

Being able to communicate one’s own research to other people is a very important part of being a researcher. On the NBS-conference we witnessed big stars like Robert Langer, Guido Jenster and Menno Witter presenting some of the world’s best research in an entertaining, motivating and comprehensible way.

Helene won cash prize of 5000 NOK and a CO2-incubator.