Scientia Fellows Interview: Bernadin Ndongson Dongmo

Researchers from a wide variety of research fields and all over the world have joined the Scientia Fellows postdoctoral programme. Bernadin Ndongson Dongmo is one of them. 

Bernadin Ndongson Dongmo standing in front of a window.

Bernadin Ndongson Dongmo. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

– What is your background?

I come from Cameroon, in central Africa, where I grew up, went to school, and studied.

The main topic of my undergraduate and graduate education was biochemistry. At the end of my studies, I got more biomedically oriented.

My goal was always to become a researcher.

I spent two years as PhD student in Cameroon, investigating the chemical composition and biomedical properties of Cameroonian plant extracts. Then, unfortunately, I lacked grants to continue.

I decided to move to Europe, hoping to find better research conditions. At the University of Turin, Italy, I worked on a project based on malaria-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome.

After that, I moved to Germany, and the University of Jena. I started on a new PhD, this time in cardiology research, and more specifically in septic cardiomyopathy.

After finishing my PhD in Jena, I felt very connected with cardiology research, and decided to specialize in this field. I therefore applied for a postdoc position through the Scientia Fellows postdoc programme. 

I still do work within cardiology, but in another part of the field. This allows me to expand my skills and my knowledge.

Read more interviews with candidates at the Scientia Fellows programme!

– What triggered you to become a researcher?

To me, being a researcher means being part of a great machinery that makes our life better, healthier, easier etc. I’m particularly interested in translational research, because it involves both basical and clinical research.

I grew up in a part of the world where disease prevalence is still very high, and very early in my life I could witness the positive effects of increased access to medicine.

Besides that, I have also been attracted to research because of the unique possibility for improvement that science gives. 

– Why did you choose to apply for a Scientia Fellows postdoc position?

Firstly, one of the research groups was exactly what I wanted. It was cardiology research, it was focused on translational research, it was at the pharmacology department, and it was in a different heart failure model than the one I studied previously. So the project appeared to me as an excellent opportunity to improve my knowledge in cardiology, but also to share my experience, skill and knowledge with other scientist.

Secondly, the cofound partner of the Scientia fellows postdoc programme is the European Union Marie Curie actions, an excellent reference in the scientific world.

Also, for me as African, I can witness and embrace the transformations making a change in the world.

Furthermore, although I have been in Europe for quite a while, I have never been to Scandinavia. Stories about vikings were always fascinating, and the wonderful nature of Norway is well known. So, there was nothing more exotic for me than Norway, and my interest for the position could not be higher.

– How can a Scientia Fellows postdoc position promote your future career?

Besides, of course, improved scientific skills from the project, I would like to use this opportunity to improve my professional network.

I believe the success of the project, as well as the overall success of my postdoc period, depends on a certain level of mobility and visibility through collaboration, exchange, participation at scientific meetings and attendanc to science-related and soft skill courses. Therefore, I think programs like career and leadership course, offered by the Faculty of Medicine, is very interesting.

It will give me an opportunity to interact and build connections with other scientist. Also, I will acquire skills and knowledge important for the development of my scientific career.

– To whom would you recommend a Scientia Fellows postdoc position?

I believe a programme like Scientia Fellows offers a unique possibility to gather enough tools, both scientifically and within career development, to secure a successful career.

Therefore, I would strongly recommend this programme to every researcher intending to be a part of a new generation of scientists that I believe will be more competent scientifically, but also more open towards both the scientific and non-scientific world.

Read more interviews with candidates at the Scientia Fellows programme

Research group

Receptors, signalling and cardiac pharmacology


Published Mar. 11, 2016 11:25 AM - Last modified Sep. 30, 2021 10:18 AM