Only 2 weeks until the BCA spring meeting and this week we have the pleasure to introduce Lucy Mapp! Lucy sits on the YCG committee as an ordinary member.
Ph.D. Student (final year), University of Southampton
What do you currently research?
Co-crystals of pharmaceuticals, particularly those which lack or have minimal hydrogen bonding functionality. I’m investigating the modification of properties and using charge density studies to help understand these through changes in the charge distribution as a result of altering the co-former molecule.
What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
The community – it’s such a great group of people!
From the work side of things I enjoy being able to see what you’ve made and the sense of satisfaction from successfully generating a crystal structure from the experimental data, especially a difficult one with disorder or complex features! Also, the amount of information that you can get from a tiny crystal still amazes me!
Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
I’ve had a lot of enthusiastic science teachers at school, and some good supervisors / mentors over the years who have all encouraged me and kept my interest and shown me knew things that have made me want to learn and do more. With chemistry, I like the fact you can be the first to make or discover something, even if it’s small in the grand scheme of things and that chemistry/science can explain and make sense of a lot of everyday occurrences.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
Take every opportunity that comes your way, try new things and don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Talk to people and try to get as many different contacts as possible – you never know when that passing comment with someone at a conference or meeting is going to prove valuable in the future. (that might be more than one piece of advice though, sorry)
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I do a lot of running/athletics but enjoy most sports/activities and just getting out and exploring places – either close to home, elsewhere in the UK or abroad (but that’s not often). I also like to meet up with friends (generally at the pub) and will never say no to a pub quiz!