What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests?
My subject area is Organic Chemistry and I teach Organic Chemistry and Laboratory to first year students. This requires a precise yet accessible vocabulary for those starting out in one of the most complex disciplines in chemistry. The chance to interact with students in a much closer and more personal way during Lab sessions helps me increase how much students trust me, as they are sometimes intimidated by the teacher ‘behind the desk’. On the other hand, the Organic Chemistry Laboratory is also one of the most potentially dangerous, due to the flammability and toxicity of the materials used: this has made me aware of safety issues, leading me to teach the Laboratory Safety Course, which is held in the first year of studies. Lastly, I teach Asymmetric Synthesis in a Master's degree course, which lets me explore issues that are very important for students wishing to access research and development positions in pharmaceutical chemistry.
What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
Seeing my students, undergraduates, PhD students, who have found jobs with the right amount of confidence and humility, achieve rewarding professional goals.
A small personal satisfaction was also the fact that a compound which my staff had developed under my supervision was used in something marketed worldwide.
What do teaching and researching mean to you?
Research should be an opportunity to learn a great deal, which when applied freely and imaginatively can lead to cutting-edge 'products' (whether useful in the short or long term). All this knowledge, measured and experienced first-hand, enables you to make a personal and up-to-date contribution to teaching, which in this way becomes more than what can be learned by simply reading a book. Unfortunately, this freedom clashes with our increasingly demanding society's unquestionable needs, and with market logics that are sometimes less agreeable.