Hello everyone! My name is Catia Caratao and I am from Viana do Castelo (Portugal) – a beautiful small city in the north of this amazing small country. At the moment, I live in Oxford and I am one of the 15 students of the DNA-Robotics consortium.

How did I get here? Well, let me tell you…

Since I was young Science triggered me. I was always trying to find an explanation for every question and the more I knew the more I wanted to know, especially when it concerned medical and biochemical issues. After finishing high school, I decided to move to another city in order to follow my dreams and I graduated with a bachelor’s degree at University of Coimbra in Medicinal Chemistry. During those years I have developed skills in the fields of Medicine, Pharmacology and Chemistry, doing a short project in each area which was a big opportunity for me. Indeed, I got more and more interested in Organic Chemistry in particular, a field I eventually decide to specialize into during my Masters. At this point I felt more able to work in a laboratory and I knew that this was something that I wanted to pursue.

Suddenly I started to question myself… Do I want to stay in the same field? Same country? Academic or non-academic? This was the moment I decided it was time to take a risk!

December last year I applied for an International Program where I would be abroad for six months working in a company or university in one of eighty possible countries. A week before I left I found out that I was coming to the UK, to work at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich. During this internship I was responsible for the development of protocols for food analysis by HPLC-MS. Of all the chemistry fields, analytical chemistry was not in my plans but I realized it can be an essential tool for research and, therefore, for my future. Six months seems like three weeks in the research field (researchers agree with me for sure) and it is not enough but, at the same time, makes it more challenging.

This was a big step in my life and now I know that there are lots of opportunities around the world, we just need to find the right opportunity and fight for it. That is the reason I am writing this post now!

While I was searching for opportunities in my area, I saw THE opportunity… The possibility of working in a DNA nanotechnology European Program in a company specialized in producing highly modified oligonucleotides, called ATDBio. From Oxford I am going to give my best to this project and gathering all the knowledge and skills spread around Europe we are going to make a change in the field of DNA Nanotechnology.

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Don’t miss the opportunity to know more news about this project!

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