Marianna Loizzi

Marianna Loizzi
Chemistry Student

I have decided to be a Traces.Dreams ambassador because there is an army of young scientists over there, hidden by the walls of labs and offices, working to make our world a better place, and I truly believe they deserve more visibility.

Therefore, I am going to share the stories of the future generation of scientists, their dreams and their passions.

The focus of my PhD project was mainly medicinal chemistry. More specifically, I tried to understand how, on a molecular level, an enzyme extracted from the cotton plant can produce its products. More specifically, I tried to see how can these enzymes can make different products, and see how their pathways can be modified to make new useful drugs.

The final aim of the project, which is still ongoing with plenty of PhD students and Postdoc working on it, is to get a full understand of these enzymes, and being able to engineer them so they can make the medicines we need, in just minutes. This is a new way to do medicinal chemistry, but I believe this field is shifting towards this new approach. The traditional idea of a chemist spending days if not months in the lab to produce medicines is slowing fading away.

Nature has always been smarter than us, and it provided the world already these little drug-like making machines which could potentially do in minutes what a human chemist can do in days. We just need to understand how they do that! Where do I see myself in 10 years? Oh, who knows! My biggest motivation in life, for how naïve it sounds, is to improve people’s life or at least try. I studied Pharmacy so I could help people getting the right medicines and cure, I did a PhD in chemistry so I could try to discover a faster way to produce medicines.

And now I work for a company that helps the communication between Doctors and Patients so that a better service and healthcare is provided because everyone deserves a good efficient care. The future? We will see! I need to thank my dad for my journey so far. He is the best GP I have ever met, always there for the people, nights, bank holidays, did not really matter. He was more a friend than a doctor to his patients, and even now that he is in retirement, people keep knocking at his door for advice. I would like to become like him, admired not for his success, but for the good he did. and keeps doing, to the world.

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