«At the end of my first year studying chemistry it was obvious that I’d found my vocation.»

christina nevado blázquez

Prof. Dr. Cristina Nevado Blázquez
Chemist, Organic Chemistry. Her research is focused on complex chemical synthesis and new organometallic reactions.

Career

1996 - 2000 Chemiestudium, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spanien
2000 - 2004 Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spanien
2004 - 2007 Max Planck Institute for Coal Research), Mülheim a. d. Ruhr, Germany
2007-2013 Assistant professor, University of Zurich
 seit 2013 Associate professor, University of Zurich

Website Prof. Dr. Cristina Nevado

Why did you choose to pursue science?
When I was 16 I decided to focus on natural science at school. I had a chemistry teacher who put his heart and soul into his teaching. Of course we all know that passion is contagious so I decided to study chemistry. At the end of my first year at university it was obvious that I’d found my vocation. 

What do you like about your job?
Chemistry is exciting, full of wonders, it explains the world at the atomic level – I learn something new every day.

Did you experience any dry spells or disappointments in your career? How did you overcome these?
Failures are a part of natural science: Your experimental set-up fails, you might have invested a whole year's worth of work in a project that just isn't going well.... If that happens you just have to pick yourself up, start over again, keep plugging away and never give up!

Did you have any role models who had an impact on your career? If so, who?
I'm always impressed by my father and the way he approaches problems. He's a strong-willed person with great stamina. 

How do you maintain your work-life balance?
People outside work are important to me – they help me maintain this balance. Consequently, my partner and I coordinate our career moves and stays abroad. I read during my free time. I love spending time outdoors – and I enjoy having the forest so nearby at the Irchel campus. That's why nature and landscapes are also frequently the subject of my oil paintings.

Do you have any advice for young, ambitious female researchers?
The most important thing is that you do something that makes you happy. An academic career is like a marathon; you need tenacity, stamina and passion. Difficulties are inevitable – but you can't let them discourage you. The key is to keep plugging away.

Department of Chemistry
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH- 8057 Zürich
Tel. +41 44 635 39 45
cristina.nevado(at)chem.uzh.ch