Electrochemistry of Polymers Lab (LEP)
Working within the electrochemistry of polymers lab (LEP) in the inorganic chemistry department at the Universidad Católica, Juan worked closely with his PI, Beatriz González, in synthesizing Ruthenium-based compounds for chemotherapy and polymer-modified electrodes. Together, Juan and Beatriz worked to create synthetic routes for the proposed compounds, while also synthesizing them. The culmination of his internship occurred during the last week that Juan was in Chile, when he was finally able to synthesize his goal compound!
Culture of camaraderie
Prior to joining the LEP, Juan thought that he knew was life as an inorganic chemist was like: spending most of one’s time setting up reactions, and waiting for them to finish. It wasn’t until going to Chile that Juan realized that the lab does not have to be this way. In the LEP, while it is true that most of his time was spent setting up reactions, instead of reading or doing homework while waiting for the reactions to finish, in Chile this time was spent getting to know one another, joking around and having a good time with other lab members. It is because of this experience that Juan hopes to bring a stronger culture of creating camaraderie amongst lab members to his lab at MIT.
Overall, Juan’s experience working at the Universidad Católica’s LEP was eye-opening to what a lab can be like, and reaffirmed his love of inorganic chemistry. His relationship with his PI, Beatriz, and the relationships made with other members of the LEP is what a huge reason that he had such a positive experience in Chile.