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Anne Hensen

Research Associate Bioprocess Modelling at EV Biotech

"This is it, I thought at the time. I thought it was so cool to see what kind of influence you can have on cells'

Puzzling with bacteria and cells is what Anne Hensen (27) does. Early on, she knew she wanted to make breakthroughs in biology. After graduating, she found her dream job in Groningen at EV Biotech. ''If you are ambitious, the best opportunities lie where you might not expect it.''

Anne was born in the West of the country, in Zoetermeer. As soon as she was introduced to biology and chemistry at secondary school, she got immediately fascinated. Virology had to be. Until she changed her mind as soon as she laid eyes on a leaflet on biotechnology. ''This is it, I thought then. I thought it was so cool to see what kind of influence you can have on cells,'' she says proudly.

In fact, her branch of biotechnology focuses on research at the cellular level, on the influence certain conditions can have on cells. Whereas she used to carry out experiments herself in the lab, she is now mainly involved in analysing the results of those studies. Modelling with computers. Nice puzzling. ''I look in advance to see which experiments might have an effect. From the results, we then draw conclusions for future research,'' she says.

"Here I have a lot of responsibilities, I get to explore and set things up. I can really make a difference in the process."

Her type of research contributes to a sustainable world. This is because EV Biotech creates micro-organisms that can produce high-quality molecules in a biological way. This means we could eventually do more and more with natural means instead of chemical ones. '"By influencing cells, they could also, for example, convert agricultural waste into plastic. How nice would it be if we then no longer needed oil for that?''

Although Anne grew up and studied in the West, she has now ended up in Groningen. A bit out of route. At least, she thought at first. ''Feelingly, Groningen seems far away from everything, but that turns out not to be true. Here, too, you have innovative industries, a fascinating field of work.'' She has now been working at EV Biotech for six months. Her dream job. ''Here I have a lot of responsibilities, I get to discover and set things up. I can really make a difference in the process,'' she beams. ''Look beyond your nose a little more often. I couldn't have got this job in the Randstad, because the market there is more saturated. The best opportunities lie where you least expect it. If you are open to it, anything is possible.''

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