Employee Interview – Meet Alison Obergrussberger

“Tell us your story- how did your path lead you to Nanion Technologies?”

I started doing patch clamp electrophysiology on brain slices during my PhD at the University of Dundee and went on to do a post doc in David Adams lab at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, building on my experience doing manual patch clamp. I loved my time in Australia but I came to realize that the academic life was not for me. I had just met my wonderful (German) partner (whom I later married) and he had moved back to Munich (after doing a Masters project at UQ) so I was looking to move back to Europe and, if possible, to the Munich area.
A friend of mine (to whom I am eternally grateful!) said to me, ‘I know this really great company in Munich called Nanion Technologies, they’re making automated patch clamp devices, why don’t you apply there?’ That sounds cool, I thought. I looked at the Nanion website and there was a job advert on there for an Application Scientist and as I read through, I realized I ticked all of the boxes! I sent off my CV to Niels who invited me to drop by and come for an informal interview when I was in Munich later that month on holiday. I knew immediately that I wanted to work for Nanion when I walked through the door and met Sonja, Niels, Andrea, Michael, Matthias and Jürgen. Unfortunately at that time they had just taken someone on and had no job for me so I returned to Brisbane with a heavy heart. A couple of weeks later Niels wrote to me and offered me a job which I was delighted to accept. That was 13 years ago almost to the day!

“Knowing what you know now, what 3 pieces of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?”

  1. Trust your instincts – they’re usually right
  2. Learn to snowboard now, it only gets harder (and more painful) when you’re older
  3. Learn German – you’re gonna need it!


“One Last Question- what’s the coolest thing about your job?”

One of the things is definitely the variety. When I first started at Nanion, I got to do lots of different things from visiting customers, going to conferences, writing up data, helping with assay and product development through to making the product catalogue and other marketing material. Nowadays I’ve moved into more of a marketing role but my job is still very varied, I’m constantly learning new skills and learning about different instruments, techniques and expanding my knowledge on a wide range of ion channels. I still go to a few conferences a year and Nanion gives me the flexibility I need to juggle having a family with my career, including allowing me to work partly from home. The other ‘thing’ which is the coolest, although it might sound clichéd, is the people I work with. I am so lucky to work with such a talented, hard-working and loyal group of people, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last 13 years. I have some great friends at Nanion and it means I absolutely love coming into the office.