Professor Pernille P. L. Hansen (Denmark)

Position: Professor

Affiliation: Cardiovascular and Renal Research, University of Southern Denmark


1.     What is your role at your work?

I am group leader and deputy head of Dept. of Cardiovascular and Renal Research.

2.     How did you get interested in your career path?

I knew at an early stage that I would like to do research. Choosing the subject and why I ended up in research in the field of Hypertension is very much a combination of my interest in the subject but also inspiration from good mentors and supervisors.

3.     What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?

That I succeed in having a scientific career with significant findings and a family at the same time. Another thing is the development of young students into mature researchers.

4.     What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

To get a career in research you need significant results; that is making good research. It is a challenge to keep believing if your grants and manuscripts are rejected. But move on, it is not personal and usually your manuscript and grant applications get better the second time.

5.     What advice would you give your younger self?

Sometimes research can be a tough business; building your group, getting funding and publishing at a fast speed. I have had funding and publications as top priorities throughout my career. Also, it is important to have good collaborators and mentors.

6.     Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.

We mapped the distribution of calcium channels within the kidney and found new functions for the T- and P/Q- type channels.

We discovered an important involvement of T- and P/Q-type channels in the contractility of human blood vessels.

We found that T-type channels are involved in endothelial dysfunction.

We discovered that aldosterone can either dilate or contract blood vessels dependent on exposure time.

7.     Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

Yes, I have had several important mentors. They have helped me in finding my way through the research jungle. They have been close collaborators, supervisors, senior scientists and dept. heads.

8.     How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

They should know the importance of having mentors and getting into the right networks. It is much easier to get advice or get collaborations established if you know people. You might not see how important it is in your early career but we should let all young scientists know this.