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#IAmNYAS: Robert S. Jansen

Postdoctoral Associate Robert S. Jansen doesn't just love his work, he also loves running marathons.

Published September 23, 2015

#IAmNYAS: Robert S. Jansen

Like many scientists working in New York and around the US, Academy Member Robert Jansen is originally from outside the US. In his case, home is just over the Atlantic Ocean in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. But today he's a Postdoctoral Associate in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

We wanted to know a bit more about the research that Robert is doing and also what the challenges are ahead in his career.

What is the focus of your current research?

I am working to identify the function of essential genes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by untargeted metabolomics. Knowing the function of these essential genes allows us to screen for inhibitors, which might ultimately serve as drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis.

What has been one of the most rewarding moments of your career?

Seeing that my fundamental lab work on a transporter was translated into an experimental therapy for patients suffering from a hereditary calcification disorder.

What is one of the biggest challenges you're facing in your career right now?

Making the transition from postdoc to an independent position.

Tell us about something you like to do outside the lab.

I run about one marathon per year - Chicago is up in November. My best marathon experience was New York; it was my first marathon and my first visit to the USA. Americans are much better at cheering than the Dutch. I started running shorter distances when I was young, about 10. I only started running longer distances during my PhD because I joined my hospital's team in the annual "dam to dam run" in Amsterdam.

Are you also trying to figure out how to move from academic studies and postdoctoral work into your scientific career? Be sure to check out the many events, eBriefings, and career path videos that our Science Alliance program offers.

Also, if you're a scientist from outside the US who is navigating visa and immigration issues, be sure to check out our guide for scientists.