Dr Nicola Ternette

NDM Leadership Fellow, Target Discovery Institute

Dr Nicola Ternette has been fascinated by natural sciences since childhood. This interest led her to study Physics, and then later Biochemistry at university. After her undergraduate studies she then went on to do a PhD in Virology in Thomas Grunwald’s group at the University of Bochum in Germany.

After her PhD, Nicola was keen to go abroad to pursue a post-doctoral research project in Professor Benedikt Kessler’s group, now based at the Target Discovery Institute, in 2008.

“The NDM has a broad range of high profile research facilities, particularly for proteomic research and immunology, which are my main research interests”.

Her second post-doctoral position, with Professor Thomas Hanke in the Jenner Institute, enabled her to further develop her interest in immunology and vaccine design.

After working in the NDM for 7 years, Nicola is now in the process of setting up her own group in the Target Discovery Institute. Her research uses mass spectrometry based methods to analyse peptides that play important roles in the immune system. However, the road to becoming an independent investigator hasn’t always been easy and Nicola admits that she has also faced hurdles as it is “not the easiest career to choose” but that “there is support along the way.”

“I think that during my career I have experienced both hurdles and support. I’ve had really good support from researchers in the NDM – they’ve advised me on where to go next in my career and what steps I needed to take.

“I spend my day doing what I really enjoy. The University of Oxford is a fantastic work environment and I would recommend it to anyone who has the fascination to work in science.”