Peter Vig Millard - New PhD student with focus on structural biology – University of Copenhagen

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06 November 2015

Peter Vig Millard - New PhD student with focus on structural biology

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Former MSc student in DynaMo Peter Vig Millard was awarded one of only two highly competitive PLEN PhD stipends. On 1 November 2015 he commenced as a PhD student at DynaMo Center.

Peter Vig Millard holds a BSc and an MSc in Biology-Biotechnology from the University of Copenhagen. While studying, he became increasingly convinced that he wants to pursue a career in academia to investigate basic biological questions.

Obtaining a PhD degree is the first step on any research career so it was a happy day when Peter received news that he was awarded a free PhD stipend from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN).

Interplay between three questions

By obtaining his own funding, Peter is able to design a PhD project according to his  wishes and he has chosen to investigate structural biology under the supervision of DynaMo partner Associate Professor Meike Burow.

Peter explains the background for his choice:

"Structure, function and the link between structure and function are three different basic research questions and solving them together will provide the full answer to a biological question. "

Fascinated by complexity

Peter's biggest interest is the structure-function relationship of macromolecules, particularly proteins.

His PhD project will focus on elucidating structure-function relations of transcription factors controlling defence responses, more particularly the structure-function relationship of MYB transcription factors in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

"I find it deeply fascinating how so much diversity arises from relatively few, simple building blocks. I became even more captivated when I was introduced to the concept of intrinsically disordered proteins, because this adds an additional layer of complexity," Peter tells.