Interview with Fritz Deufel
Name: Fritz Deufel
Studying: Master in Organic Chemistry
Why did you choose to study chemistry?
I have always been interested in natural science, and I was fascinated by all the possibilities you have in chemistry. For example: the fact that every part of the world is constituted of different molecules and that within chemistry you can be creative and create something entirely new on your own. Also, Chemistry explains and makes you understand processes and objects in your daily life.
How come you chose to study at Uppsala University?
I was looking to relocate for my masters and wanted to experience something new. I thought that if I was going to relocate, I should also look for different universities within Europe. So, I was informing myself about the courses in Uppsala and I saw that one could choose quite freely from a variety of courses and programs. One doesn’t have to stick to a strict course plan but develop own ideas and adjust the courses accordingly. Furthermore, the research in Uppsala is excellent and very fascinating!
What do you like most about studying in Uppsala?
It’s partially this freedom, that you can choose from a lot of different courses. Also, that the courses have both practical lab exercises and theoretical exercises that are intertwined. What you learn in the morning you will directly apply in the afternoon, more or less. I also appreciate that the hierarchy at the university is rather flat, so it’s easy to get in contact with other students or researchers. Other things I like about studying in Uppsala is of course the student life, the extracurricular activities at the Student Nations. For example, the photography group. Also, I personally like the size of Uppsala - it’s not too small or too big.
You are currently doing your master thesis as a research project at the institution for chemistry - can you tell us a little bit about your research?
I chose to do a longer thesis, because the topic is so interesting. Broadly speaking, I am working on the synthesis of small molecules that are potentially able to block the active site in the molecule (enzyme) responsible for cleaving the most potent antibiotics on the market today. So, the project is directed towards understanding and fighting antibiotic resistance. This is done not by developing more, new antibiotics but by developing molecules that might be able to inhibit the breakdown of the current antibiotics so one can use the safe, very good, antibiotics which are already on the market.
What do you want to do when you have finished your studies?
I want to do a PhD, but before that I would like to do an internship, maybe an Erasmus internship.
THREE QUICK QUESTIONS
Favorite place in Uppsala?
The lake Ekoln, it's very beautiful.
Best student tradition in Uppsala?
It’s not a student tradition but in general: the fika-culture. Sitting together, meeting up at a café, maybe having a kanelbulle or something. It’s a ritual I enjoy.
After my PhD, I would like to stay within research and continue working on different projects. But I could also imagine myself working for a government institution, in an advisory position for instance. I try to keep my options as open as possible at this stage because there are a lot of different exciting possibilities which I need to explore further in order to find my personal dream job.