Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Auckland and a principle investigator for the MacDiarmid Instutite for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Area/Discipline of Science
My current research is in the field of advanced polymeric materials, particularly those based on conducting polymers, and their application in health and bioelectronics, and polymer electronics devices. Currently I run a number of projects on conducting polymers in collaboration with the research groups from Chemistry Department, School of Medicine and Engineering and MacDiarmid Institute, including development of novel gene sensors based on conducting polymers, conducting polymers-based actuators, conducting polymer self-assembled nanostructures and switchable conductive polymer surfaces for modulated cell adhesion.
I got interested in chemistry, and more broadly in science, during my secondary school days, when I had an exceptionally knowledgeable and enthusiastic science teacher who triggered my love for the logical and scientific. I feel very fortunate because it led me to the job I have now which is the most interesting, challenging and fascinating job one can have. I just love that thrill and excitement of finding things out, and even more so when I see that excitement growing infectiously in the eyes of my research students!
The research field that my group has been working in – polymer electronics – is very interdisciplinary, bridging chemistry, physics, engineering and molecular biology. It is very stimulating as we collaborate with scientists from other disciplines, but also offers exceptional opportunities for future technologies, from ultrasensitive biological or chemical sensors, functional surfaces for molecular biology to organic and flexible plastic electronics.
Some may find a career in science challenging because one needs to work hard and knowledge is generated faster every day thanks to new accessible technologies, information and exchange of ideas. On the other hand, as I already said, it is the most exciting and the most rewarding career.