SciLifeLab Voices: Nina Ottosson

Hej Nina! Can you describe a typical workday at CBCS Linköping?

I’m responsible for the electrophysiology infrastructure of the Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden, CBCS, at Linköping University. On a typical workday, we are either recording, preparing for recordings or analyzing data from recordings. For us, recordings mean that we are measuring currents of ions through a specific type of protein, so called ion channels, that are expressed in the cell membrane. These proteins conduct electrical signals, and have fundamental roles for us humans. Like making our heart beat and our nerve cells communicate.

Our work is focused on modulation of these ion channels, most commonly using compounds. For example, we are helping researchers early in drug discovery to predict undesired cardiac toxicity and helping forensic scientists to map the effects of illicit drugs on neuroreceptors. To do this, we over-express the ion channels in mammalian cell lines and record the current across the cell membrane. Using our QPatch, a robot for automated patch-clamp recordings.

My colleague Amaya and I are a good team. She keeps the cells “happy” and prepares the compounds to be tested, and I take care of the QPatch. So more correct is probably to say that we are a team of three: the QPatch (our darling), Amaya and me.

Name a few things you wish the public and other researchers knew about your unit

You don’t need to be an electrophysiologist to work with us. You don’t even need to know what an ion channel is (as long as you accept that they are the most important proteins in our body). We help you with the assay development and how to interpret the data. And how you can use the information in your research. 

The best part about being affiliated with SciLifeLab?

All new touchpoints, all inspiring researchers and infrastructure specialists and the discussions with them. Thanks to our users. We get the possibility to work with a wide range of projects, and I enjoy being able to not only help our users with the electrophysiology data. But also connecting them with the other units within CBCS and SciLifeLab to assist with further development of their projects.

Spring is almost here, what do you look forward to the most?

The light and the lack of snow. The small changes in nature day by day. Like when the birdsong increases a little every morning and it becomes greener and greener. And then suddenly one day you hear the whistling of the birches. That I am looking forward to.  

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think would surprise people

I love whisky, and the smokier the better.


Last updated: 2024-04-24

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