Dominik Danso
Scientist R&D Assays
Research & Development

  • Straight to altona with the doctoral thesis in hand
  • Involved in the development of our PCR kits
  • Also works on third-party funded projects
  • Allows his R&D group to invite him to dinner at the restaurant on his birthday

My professional path


I did my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in molecular biology in Hamburg. After my four-year doctoral thesis, I put my feelers out into industry. I applied to the altona R&D department and was accepted. altona gave me the green light to complete a third-party funded project first and I started in January 2020.


My tasks as Scientist


“Our department heads are easily approachable.”

There are 9 of us in our R&D “Assays” group, 5 scientists and 4 technical assistants. We are responsible for the development of our PCR kits in the areas of "respiratory" and "blood borne". We design e. g. the oligos that generate the curves on the cyclers in the finished kit.


At the beginning we work in silico on the computer, then we go to the laboratory with a defined sequence of experiments. It is about functionality, specificity, good signals, and stability over a longer period of time. If everything goes well, we hand over the product to production and quality control with extensive documentation. A PCR kit development can take several months.



My professional highlight


In the academic environment, papers, i. e. publications, are proof of activity. For me, the launch of a PCR kit is more fulfilling. I've been working on this for a long time, and I can physically hold the kit in my hand. It is shipped to laboratories, people are tested for viruses and bacteria with it, maybe the kit will help safe a life.


I was in charge of two kits: FlexStar® Mp & CP (detects the pathogens for non-specific pneumonia) and FlexStar® Bordetella (detects the pathogens for whooping cough).


That’s why I like working at altona


At altona, I’m more than a cog in the system. Our department heads are easily approachable and even if I want to exchange ideas with the general management, it works. Keyword: flat hierarchies.


R&D is being scaled back in other companies, and our department is being expanded further. I can also become active outside of kit development and work on third-party funded projects, for example.


And that’s also possible


In our working group we go out for lunch with everyone who has a birthday – that means 9 times a year at the moment. We head to one of the surrounding restaurants here in Hamburg-Altona and the birthday boy or girl is invited.