«Research doesn't offer any panaceas, just perpetual fascination.»

Greta Patzke

Prof. Dr. Greta Patzke
Chemist, Inorganic Chemistry and Nanomaterials


1993 - 1996 Chemistry studies, University of Hanover, Germany
1997 Diploma in inorganic chemistry, University of Hanover, Germany
1999 Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry, University of Hanover, Germany
2000 - 2006 Senior research associate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ)
Habilitation, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ)
2007 - 2013 SNF Professorship (tenure track), Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, UZH
2013 - 2016 Associate Professor at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, UZH  
2016 Full professor, Department of Chemistry, UZH  

Website Prof. Dr. Greta Patzke

What do you like about your job?
I like the fact that there are no panaceas in research – I have to deal with the immense complexity and unpredictability of nature on a daily basis. I also find great pleasure in sharing these experiences through my teaching.

Who was your greatest source of support in your professional life? And personally?
My career was mainly built by relying on my own abilities: Careers which aren’t built on this basis run the risk of collapse. If you want a healthy amount of support you have to ask for it specifically – and then give a lot in return. At a personal level my parents have always been a great source of support and gave me a great deal of freedom within a clearly-defined system of values.

Did you have any role models who had an impact on your career? If so, who?
I've been inspired by role models since I was a child. Classical philosophers who devoted their lives to a specific idea or composers like Johann Sebastian Bach who created music of otherworldly beauty while living an extremely unpretentious life. There are also several good role models among the older generation of scientists.

Do you have any advice for young, ambitious female researchers?
You have to be a good team player – in natural science, success is only achieved through teamwork. But you also need a thick skin, an unshakable belief in yourself, an ability to focus and straightforwardness.

Department of Chemistry
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstr. 190
CH-8057 Zurich
Tel. +41 44 635 46 91