Short interview with Professor Urban Johanson
Urban Johanson, Professor in Biochemistry and Structural Biology
What courses do you teach?
"I teach Chemistry of the Cell (MOBA02), a biochemistry course at the Bachelor's level, Molecular Biology (MOBA03), a Bachelor's level course at the Department of Biology, and Advanced Biochemistry (KEMM23), a Master's level course focusing on membrane proteins."
What is the best thing about your courses?
"The best thing is the team of very engaged and knowledgeable lecturers and course assistants teaching on these courses paired with the varied mix of specially designed practicals and exercises. For instance, in the Chemistry of the Cell practical, students verify a mutation at DNA level and investigate the effect of the mutation at protein level, structurally as well as functionally. Already at this stage a certain degree of planning and independence is expected. In Advanced Biochemistry, the best, but also the most challenging, part is a small project where you are aiming to clone and overexpress a membrane protein of your own choice. With the help of dedicated course assistants, you carry out all steps from the identification of a suitable target and detailed planning to poster presentation of the results."
Why would you recommend the Master's in Biochemistry at Lund University to prospective students?
"The programme provides hands-on experience of many different biochemical methods and a solid understanding of the chemistry behind them. It prepares you for, and opens up possibilities to participate in, a wide range of different types of biochemical research projects. These projects can be conducted within in academia, at the Faculties of Science and Medicine, and/or in companies in the life science sector."
What is your own research about?
"It focuses on the structure and function of membrane proteins and their evolution. I work mainly on water channel-like proteins, but also on various ion channels, such as the 'wasabi receptor'."
What do you enjoy the most about chemistry?
"I like the creativity, the possibilities to make new things. It is fun to follow your curiosity to discover, explore and try to understand things that were not known before."
What is your best tip for prospective students?
"Be active and ask questions! You might even discover or develop a new interest in an area that you were previously unaware of!"
Watch a short video about 'wasabi receptor' research at Lund University.