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30 under 30: Delving into the Unknown with Enzymes

Meet Verena Resch, one of the promising young chemists attending the 2013 Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting
Verena Resch



Courtesy of Verena Resch

Each year hundreds of the best and brightest researchers gather in Lindau, Germany, for the Nobel Laureate Meeting. There, the newest generation of scientists mingles with Nobel Prize winners and discusses their work and ideas. The 2013 meeting is dedicated to chemistry and will involve young researchers from 78 different countries. In anticipation of the event, which will take place from June 30 through July 5, we are highlighting a group of attendees under 30 who represent the future of chemistry. The following profile is the 29th in a series of 30.

29
Name: Verena Resch
Age: 29
Born: Leibnitz, Austria
Nationality: Austrian

Current position: Postdoctoral fellow at the Delft University of Technology
Education: Master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, PhD in chemistry from the University of Graz in Styria, Austria

What is your field of research?
I am working in the field of biocatalysis, where enzymes are investigated as novel and environmentally benign catalysts for the production of compounds we use in different application such as in medicine.

What drew you to chemistry, and to that research area in particular?
Taking a peek behind nature's curtain has fascinated me since I was a child. Astronomy and biology were my early hobbies, but my high school teacher finally awoke my interest in chemistry. He encouraged me to think beyond our everyday limits and dig deeper into the unknown.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Times are changing very fast and so is science. To picture myself in 10 years is very difficult. I am pretty sure I will still be passionately searching for new enzymes that can help broaden the spectrum of reactions we can perform. Furthermore, I hope I get the chance to pass on my knowledge and experience to students and help them find their way in science.

Who are your scientific heroes?
My scientific heroes are enzymes. They keep our motors running (including my brain) and they have their hands in everything. Apart from them, Elizabeth Fulhame is a fascinating person. She performed the research that provided the fundamental principles of catalysis and published her work in 1794. To me, it is always mind-blowing what precise conclusions scientists were able to draw without having the technology we have today.

What activities outside of chemistry do you most enjoy?
Apart from chemistry in the kitchen—cooking—I enjoy traveling, photography and watching the night sky for astronomical miracles.

What do you hope to gain from this year’s Lindau meeting?
The Lindau meeting offers me the unique chance of meeting the leading scientists in chemistry. Having the chance to meet the people behind all those well-known names is simply overwhelming and a chemist's dream.

Are there any Nobelists whom you are particularly excited to meet?
The biochemist part of me is particularly looking forward to meeting Hartmut Michel and to hear his talk about cytochrome c oxidase. My organic chemist side will enjoy listening to Robert Grubbs and Akira Suzuki.

« Previous
28. Artur Ciesielski
30 Under 30:
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
Join us tomorrow for #30

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