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Education in Chemistry

Lund University

Teacher profiles

Emma Sparr, Professor in physical chemistry and colloidal biology

What courses do you teach?

Surface and colloid chemistry at Bachelor level (KEMB07) and Advanced surface and colloid chemistry (KEMM77).

What is best about your courses?

They cover an area of chemistry where there is a close connection between the fundamental theory and the many applications. It is easy to understand why the principles and the phenomena that we study are important and has many important applications, such as the stability of milk or paint, or how lipids and proteins organise themselves into biomembranes. It fits in many areas of chemistry, form biochemistry to biophysics, and is relevant for formulation, which is used for pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and much more.

Why should you study the master's programme in physical chemistry at Lund University

The master’s programme in physical chemistry is for you if you are interested in intermolecular interactions in macromolecular systems and advanced methods of measurement, if you enjoy calculations and mathematics and if you want a mix of theoretical and laboratory work. The most important thing when picking what master’s programme to pursue is to choose something that interests you.

What is your own research about?

I am interested in the physical properties of biological membranes, such as the skin or cell membranes, and the connection between their structure and their properties. My research has mainly focused on skin, for example that if you apply a band-aid to your skin it will become more moist and this will cause the permeability to increase. Upon removal of the band-aid the skin dries and becomes less permeable again.

What do you enjoy most about chemistry?

I very much enjoy research, both for the opportunity to focus on a particular system, but also for the opportunity to collaborate with others in adjoining fields and through that learn more about those areas and together solve problems. I like to learn, am curious and look forward to the next steps in my work. All this I also try to bring into my teaching.

What is you best tip for future students?

When you start specialising or near the end of your education and think about what would be the most tactical choice to do next it is worth remembering that the most tactical choice is often to continue with what you are good at and what you find interesting.

Urban Johanson, Professor in biochemistry and structural biology

What courses do you teach?

I teach Chemistry of the cell (MOBA02), a biochemistry course at Bachelor level, Molecular biology (MOBA03), a Bachelor level course at the Department of Biology, and Advanced biochemistry (KEMM23), a Master level course focusing on membrane proteins.

What is best about your courses?

The best thing is the team of very engaged and knowledgeable lecturers and course assistants teaching on these courses paired with the varied mix of specially designed practicals and exercises. For instance, in the Chemistry of the cell practical students verify a mutation at DNA level and investigate the effect of the mutation at protein level, structurally as well as functionally. Already at this stage a certain degree of planning and independence is expected. In Advanced biochemistry the best, but also the most challenging part, is a small project where you are aiming to clone and overexpress a membrane protein of your own choice. With the help of dedicated course assistants you carry out all steps from the identification of a suitable target and detailed planning to poster presentation of the results.

Why should you study the master's programme in biochemistry at Lund University

The program provides hands-on experience of many different biochemical methods and a solid understanding of the chemistry behind them. It prepares you for, and opens up for possibilities to participate in, a wide range of different types of biochemical research projects. These projects can be conducted within in academia, at the Faculties of Science and Medicine, and/or in companies in the Life Science sector.

What is your own research about?

Structure and function of membrane proteins and their evolution. I work mainly on water channel-like proteins, but also on various ion channels, like the wasabi receptor (see attached movie).

What do you enjoy most about chemistry?

I like the creativity, the possibilities to make new things. It is fun to follow your curiosity to discover, explore and try to understand things that were not known before.

What is you best tip for future students?

Be active and ask questions! (You might even discover or develop a new interest in an area that you were previously unaware of!)

Margareta Sandahl, Senior lecturer at the Centre for Analysis and Synthesis

What courses do you teach?

Bachelor courses: KEMB06 Analytical Chemistry 15 ECTS credits and KAKF05 Analytical Chemistry 7.5 ECTS credits
Master courses: KEMM76 Advanced Analytical Chemistry 15 ECTS credits, KASN05 Chromatographic Analysis 7,5 ECTS credits and KASN01 Project in Chemistry 15 ECTS credits.

What is best about your courses?

That students get acquainted with analytical methods and techniques that are used to identify and quantitate species that are present in complex samples. Our courses enable the students to get fundamental insights and practical skills in analytical methodology and to prepare the students for a future profession in analytical chemistry. As an analytical chemist you can work in several fields, for instance development of new pharmaceuticals, in medicinal research and with issues related to the environment.

What is your own research about?

My research is about supercritical fluid chromatography, partly because I am interested in explaining the separation mechanisms behind the technique, but also to contribute to sustainable development. Research in our group (The Green Technology Group) is focused on using green solvents such as supercritical carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide expanded liquids. Usage of such solvents enable rapid and efficient separation processes with minor environmental impact. 

What do you enjoy most about chemistry?

It is fun to contribute to new knowledge and to teach undergraduate and graduate students.

What is you best tip for future students?

Enthusiasm in combination with hard work leads to success. It is important to have fun at work.