Margherita Zanini, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren (ICIQ), has virtually defended her PhD thesis entitled “Transition Metal-Catalyzed Reactions of Heteroatom-Substituted Alkynes” (assigned to the Physical and Inorganic Chemistry Department of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on November 12th.
The members of the evaluation committee were: Prof. Paolo Melchiorre (ICIQ), Prof. Vittorio Pace (University of Torino) and Prof. Ana Carmen Albéniz (Universidad de Valladolid).
Dr. Zanini is from Rome, Italy. She moved to Bologna where she obtained her degree and master’s in Organic Chemistry. In October 2016, thanks to the La Caixa – Severo Ochoa PhD fellowship programme, she began her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Echavarren. Her perfect day would have some science, a good book and a bit of sport.
Why did you become a scientist?
I’ve always been curious about nature and how things around me work. I think it has been a natural evolution to become a scientist.
From the lessons learnt at ICIQ, which one do you value the most?
What I value the most are the weekly group seminars; they gave me the occasion to discover new chemistry and to improve my critical thinking and communication skills.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD?
Patience and attention to detail. Chemical research requires a methodical approach that sometimes contrasts with my impulsive character. So, if I could meet a younger Margherita, I would just tell her to take a deep breath before starting anything and then go ahead until everything is clear and properly done.
What ICIQ moment you´ll never forget?
There have been so many moments: from laughing to tears to very touching moments. So it’s hard to pick just one. Having to choose one, I would go for many Friday afternoons, when we start to feel tired from the week and just relax a bit, laugh for nothing and have fun with the lab-mates while wrapping up the day.
Where are you going next? What will you do there?
I’m still figuring out what will happen to me in the near future. I know where I would like to go and what I would like to become, so I’m working towards it. But first, I’ll take a bit of time to rest. It has been an intense year and I would like to recharge batteries, hopefully close to my friends and family.
If you were a piece of lab equipment, what would you be?
Definitely, a Schlenk tube, very versatile glassware that can be adapted to many different reaction setups.