Image: Núria Crivillers (PhD Committee), Simona Ricci (recent Doctor) and Marta Mas-Torrent (supervisor).
- Why did you choose the ICMAB for your PhD?
After my master’s degree I decided to proceed my career with a PhD. During my master’s I spent six months in Madrid, carrying out an internship at the Complutense University under the framework of the Erasmus project. I really enjoyed the experience and so I decided to get my PhD abroad. I started searching for an open position on the Euraxess website and I found the one posted by Dr. Marta Mas. So, I applied, and here I am.
- How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?
My research deals with the development of biosensors. That is to say, devices for the detection of biomarkers. The devices we are focused on in my group, are organic based electronic devices. They have the advantage to have a lower production cost, to be flexible and light-weighted with respect to the ones we use in our daily life based on silicon.
- What are the main applications of your research? Could you give us an example?
I hope one day the biosensors I have been working with during these years could enter the market, but for the moment further investigations are needed. Anyway, it should be useful for the early diagnosis and follow up of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, as it senses an important biomarker in this field.
- From the lessons learnt here, which one do you value the most?
To never give up and keeping on trying to reach my goals.
- What will you miss the most from ICMAB?
I will miss most the international environment, all my colleagues and friends and the cheerful moments spent together.
- How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?
I have learnt a lot of new work-related things. I have also learnt to deal with people coming from different places and cultures. So, I think that this experience will come in handy in my future steps, I am more aware of myself and my capabilities.
- What are your plans once you finish your PhD?
In the short time I will come back to Italy and I will search for a job. I hope to continue working at something related to science and investigation, however not strictly in the academic field.
- What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD, that now you can recommend to the ones who are starting?
I think that every student has different difficulties to overcome during its path, depending on different factors. However, I can surely recommend to always understand what you are doing and why and to keep updating on the last discoveries in your field. Also, a good point is to have a good communication with the supervisors, ask for help if you need it.
- Why did you become a scientist? Which have been your role models?
Well, when I was a child I was fascinated by scientific documentaries on TV, especially the ones in which some researchers explored wild and far away regions. Furthermore, I had a particularly good science teacher at primary school, she got me love to understand the reasons of natural phenomena. Finally, I chose to study chemistry at the University after a really good reading which I recommend: “The Physics of Superheroes” by James Kakalios.
- Which is your favourite female scientist?
Marie Curie. But in general, I really admire all the women scientists who had to struggle with gender prejudice in the past.
- Describe in 3 keywords…
* Your research: challenging, fascinating, absorbing
* Barcelona: magic, international, inspiring
* Your experience at ICMAB: unforgettable, intense, heartening
- Any other comments you would like to say:
Just good luck to all the others ICMAB PhD students, and see you soon!
Simona Ricci's PhD Thesis announcement