Seven Questions for a DDA-funded Researcher: Jonas Salling Quist | Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy
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Seven Questions for a DDA-funded Researcher: Jonas Salling Quist

Seven Questions for a DDA-funded Researcher: Jonas Salling Quist -

Jonas Salling Quist has just completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen with a grant from the Danish Diabetes Academy.

Jonas’ project title was ‘Time-restricted eating and food reward in type 2 diabetes’.

We asked Jonas to reflect on his time as a DDA-funded researcher with seven questions

What was a highlight in your time as a DDA-funded researcher?
This is a difficult question. I think that there have been several highlights, and I am sure that the DDA grant has had a significant impact on important milestones for me during the 2-year grant period. Just to mention some, we received additional funding for the project from the Danish Diabetes Association and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and I was awarded the Early Career Award in Clinical Research from the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) in 2022. Furthermore, I am certain that the grant was essential for my transition from Postdoc to Senior Researcher at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen (SDCC) and Assistant Professor at Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen. In addition, the grant has given me the opportunity to initiate strong interdisciplinary collaborations with excellent researchers at public and private institutions in Denmark and abroad and has facilitated my affiliation with the University of Leeds, UK.

What was a low-point in your time as a DDA-funded researcher?
The Postdoc project was very ambitious in terms of the initial timeline and the COVID-19 pandemic, and lockdowns made recruitment of participants and progression challenging. Realising that the project could not be completed within the proposed timeline was not easy, but this has been a general concern in all research projects during the pandemic. All project members work hard to accomplish our goals, and I am very proud and grateful for their efforts.

Who were your most important collaborators?
In relation to the Postdoc project/RESET2 study, we have close interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers within sociology and public health from Health Promotion Research at SDCC. This collaboration is essential in relation to user involvement in the design and evaluation of our interventions. Inclusion of the target group (people with type 2 diabetes), relatives, and health care professionals constitutes a major part of our work. Furthermore, collaboration with clinicians at SDCC and Hvidovre Hospital, Novo Nordisk A/S, iMotions A/S, and researchers at Danish universities is very important. During the last 5 years, we have had close collaborations with Professor Satchidananda Panda from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, CA, USA and Visiting Researchers in our group, DDA-funded Visiting Professor Graham Finlayson and Visiting Researcher Dr Kristine Beaulieu from University of Leeds, UK. The latter collaborations have been extremely important for our work within circadian rhythm and appetite control across our studies.

Which DDA event that you attended was your favourite, and why?
This is also a difficult question. I have attended many excellent DDA courses and activities where I have met great people and learned a lot. We (both young and senior researchers) are very privileged to have such a strong institution that offers so many great opportunities for learning and networking. Being part of the organising committee and attending the DDA Winter School in Malaga was a great experience in terms of both professional and social activities, which I will never forget.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting your research project, what would it be?
Maybe revisit the timeline and the size of the project. As mentioned before, the project was large and ambitious – and apparently, it was not possible to complete it within the proposed timeline. However, the project consists of several phases/sub studies, which means that we have completed some of them and can publish the results from these while we conduct the last part.

What is next for you?
At the moment, we have a lot of work to do in relation to ongoing studies and initiation of new studies, so this requires a lot of our time and efforts. Furthermore, we are currently working on manuscripts based on the RESET study (time-restricted eating in the prevention of type 2 diabetes) which we completed this year. I look forward to publishing the results. In addition, we have ideas for some exciting studies and so I may spend some time on grant applications for these studies in the nearest future.

Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
I feel very privileged for my current work and positions. Important reasons for this are the room for scientific creativity, flexibility, and excellent colleagues and research environments. I hope that I can continue and expand our research and contribute to a better understanding of the role of circadian rhythm, lifestyle, and appetite in prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In terms of my career, my dream and ambition is to become a professor one day, and I am grateful for my shared position between SDCC and the University of Copenhagen, so hopefully this can continue and develop.

We wish Jonas all the best in his future career.