09/05/2018 Interview

Ada Vernet, student on the Master’s Degree in Nanoscience, Materials and Processes: Chemical Technology at the Frontier

“The international internship has put me on course to pursue a career in science”

Ada Vernet al laboratori del grup de recerca The Green Chemistry Lab, a la Northeastern University de Boston, als Estats Units.

Ada Vernet graduated in Chemistry at the URV and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in Nanoscience, Materials and Processes: Chemical Technology at the Frontier. The MOU international mobility programme has enabled her to study for a period outside the European Higher Education Area at Northeastern University in Boston (USA), where she has joined the “The Green Chemistry Lab” research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering to carry out research for her Master’s Thesis.

What does your research at Northeastern University involve?

Given that my master’s degree at the URV is focused on nanoscience, at present I am working on research projects in the field of nanomedicine, which is a science that combines medicine and nanotechnology, materials that display different properties at nanoscale. I am principally researching the eco-friendly production of new materials called nanoparticles using natural products such as starch and the jalapeño chilli. I am also working on a research project to reverse some of the effects of the rare genetic disease hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

How did you learn about the possibility of studying in the United States?

When I had to decide which master’s to do, I spoke to Jordi Riu, the coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Nanoscience, Materials and Processes: Chemical Technology at the Frontier, and he told me about the possibility of doing my master’s thesis in Boston. I also read information on the master’s degree’s website.

I am researching the production of nanoparticles using natural products such as starch

What has been the best thing about your time studying abroad?

Without a doubt the best things have been the opportunities that arise when you go to study at another university, such as learning about different research topics and the working opportunities available abroad. Although it all seems very complicated at the beginning because you are in another country far from home, the experience has been very positive. My laboratory colleagues, some of whom are former URV students, are very friendly and make everything much easier for me. This encourages you to carry on. Also, meeting new people, different cultures and new places opens your mind. It is a unique and special experience!

How will this international internship contribute to your career?

This internship has given me the chance to study and develop my scientific career in a renowned American university. Without the internship, it would have been very difficult for me to have had a similar opportunity. It has helped me to identify which subjects really interest and motivate me and has given me a perspective that I will continue to apply throughout my academic training. You could say that it has put me on course to pursue a career in science.

What are your plans for the future?

Thanks to this internship, I have been offered the chance to do a doctoral degree at Northeastern University, so I am currently completing my application to join the doctoral programme in the Department of Chemical Engineering. I hope to join in September 2018 and begin what will be approximately four years of doctoral research.

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