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Dr Sofia Pascu

My research

I am a Reader in Inorganic Chemistry (Associate Professor) at the University of Bath. I am specialising in inorganic chemistry, with a focus on synthetic materials and nanomaterials, molecular imaging applications of transition metals and supramolecular chemistry with a particular interest in functional carbon nanomaterials. In 2005 I started to work in metals in medicine and nanomedicines design, at the interface between chemistry and biochemistry. Recently I became interested in graphene and related materials for applications in sensing, imaging and in the environment. I supervise and mentor a research group of 12 at Bath, with a focus on functional materials design for nanomedicine and sustainable chemistry transformations.

My journey

During my time at Balliol College, I met my husband Peter Silcock and we bonded over some challenging synthetic chemistry in an intense and highly stimulating intellectual atmosphere. When Pete was appointed (first as as an industrial chemist, then as a Patent Attorney) in Cambridge-based firms, we commuted between Oxford and Cambridge at first, then I moved there in 2003 and settled down together in Cambridge. In 2005 my research position moved to Oxford, then in 2007 to Bath, where I was promoted to a Reader (Associate Professor) level in 2013. Pete changed firms (from a Cambridge-based Patent attorneys firm to an Oxford firm) such that he could join me and we now live together splitting our time between Oxford and Bath. Pete and I lived in University flats in Cambridge most of our time there, got engaged there in Summer 2005, then got married in July 2007 at Balliol College Oxford. Our baby Daniel eventually arrived in Spring 2014 and he is perfect in every way! I had six months maternity leave before he began attending nursery (part-time at 7 months old, and full-time from 9 months old). Pete and I share the childcare duties and have some significant daily support from both of Daniel's grandmothers. My past and current mentors at Oxford, Cambridge and Bath have been extremely supportive of us throughout our milestones, and during the 'highs' as well as the 'lows': I am hugely grateful for the mentorship received, and the tremendous inspiration both professionally and personally throughout these years. My funders, particularly the personal fellowships, have supported my career moves as well as my personal development and enabled me to have both a successful career and a family.