Optibrium Inspires the Next Generation of Scientists with Practical Industry Experience

Dec 10, 2020

Optibrium Inspires the Next Generation of Scientists with Practical Industry Experience

• Student placement provides invaluable commercial insight and hands-on experience

• Educational programme now in its fifth year


CAMBRIDGE, UK, 10 December 2020 – Optibrium™, a leading developer of software for drug discovery, has extended its industry placement student programme to a fifth year, welcoming this year’s placement student from The University of St Andrews. The programme offers up to two student placements each year, supporting the education of the next generation of scientists and contributing to a strong foundation for future drug discovery. The successes of placement students at Optibrium have seen them present at international scientific conferences, publish their work in leading journals, and contribute cutting-edge scientific developments to Optibrium’s software.

Sylvia Kaempf, Optibrium’s latest placement student, is working with Principal Scientist, Mario Öeren and Peter Hunt, Director of Computational Chemistry. The team are developing models that predict how the human body metabolises drug compounds, an area of critical importance to successful drug discovery. Sylvia will gain invaluable insight into research at a leading commercial organisation and the opportunity to actively participate in projects that have the potential to advance drug discovery and ultimately bring new drugs to market more quickly and efficiently.

Sylvia is currently in her 4th year studying for a Master’s in Chemistry at The University of St Andrews. In particular, the computational and quantum chemistry modules of the course have provided a solid foundation for her industry experience and introduced key concepts that are fundamental to the discovery of novel drug candidates. Skills and practical experience obtained at Optibrium will help consolidate this knowledge and prepare Sylvia for her future career in science.

Mario Öeren, Principal Scientist, Optibrium: “We feel privileged to contribute to the education of some of the brightest young minds in science and to play a part in shaping their careers. Following the success of our previous placement students, we are delighted to have Sylvia join the Optibrium team for a year and for her to contribute to our research programmes. Our collaboration with the University of St Andrews and with academia is longstanding – we look forward to welcoming more students in future years.”

Dr Georg Haehner, Reader in Physical Chemistry and Director of Industrial Placement, University of St Andrews: “In collaboration with companies we offer our students the opportunity to work on a scientifically challenging project in an industrial environment as part of their degree. Optibrium is among the world leaders in technology for computer-aided drug discovery with an impressive catalogue of software solutions. For this reason, we are delighted to engage with the team at Optibrium, where our students gain practical professional experience alongside some of the best in the industry.”

Sylvia Kaempf, Placement Student: “The industry placement scheme allows me to gain first-hand experience at a leading company. I am enjoying my time at Optibrium where the innovative research I’m involved in is truly inspiring and everyone has been incredibly welcoming. I hope to develop my computational chemistry skills further by working on an industry project, solving problems with creative ideas. I am very grateful for this fantastic opportunity.”