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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News

Advent calendar - December 7th - Pushpa

07 December 2021

In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, and technicians of our research groups - providing a glimpse into their typical day at work. In Episode 7 meet Pushpa.


I am working as a Ph.D. student in the Prof. Patrick Van der Wel, solid-state NMR group. The research project I am working on is a part of the Physics of Cancer program ( where our project aim is to study tumor physical properties by using solid state NMR.

I normally get into my work routine by checking the e-mails, reaching the working place, and making a work plan for the day. Since I work in a multidisciplinary field, I need to work on different tasks with good time management. For instance, several days might be dedicated to the wet-lab and specifically to the production of isotopically enriched materials (e.g., polysaccharides), whereas some other days given to collecting and analyzing NMR data and reading relevant research articles. Currently our research is focused on probing the structure and dynamics of polysaccharides and study its site-specific interactions in the extracellular matrix hydrogel systems (physical environment of the cells) at atomic level.

Due to Covid circumstances, we had to face different situations like limited lab space and travel restrictions affecting the planned collaborative work. However, this condition helped us in thinking of other possibilities to make use of in-house facilities to continue the project. And I am very happy that worked quite well.

Contact: Pushpa

Last modified:06 December 2021 07.53 a.m.

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