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The University of Southampton

Southampton researcher meets Nobel Prize winners

Published: 19 August 2013
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Postgraduate researcher in Chemistry Nathalie Busschaert got the chance to discuss latest developments in science with Nobel Prize winners at an exclusive event in Germany this summer for the world’s best young scientists.

The 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting brought together 625 students from 78 countries with 34 of the distinguished scientists for a week long programme of lectures and discussions.

With Nobel Prize winner Professor Martin Chalfie
Nathalie Busschaert

Nathalie, who is researching supramolecular chemistry with Professor Phil Gale, was one of only 13 young scientists chosen to present her work about how molecules travel across cell membranes at one of the sessions. "It was a little nerve-wracking but I had practised my presentation and was happy answering questions from the students and academics after my talk," she says.

The PhD student raised the subject of climate change withAmerican Physics laureate Professor Steven Chu, who had served as Energy Secretary during President Obama's first administration; she asked him why the US had not ratified global accords limiting the use of fossil fuels. Nathalie also met a personal scientific hero, Jean-Marie Lehn, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987. "Professor Lehn's research is in the same area as mine. He knew of our work at Southampton and asked how it was going," she explains.

The Lindau meetings, held for the first time in 1951 are now established as a unique platform for intergenerational dialogue between scientists.Among the main topics of the 2013 event were Green Chemistry, chemical energy storage and conversion as well as biochemical processes and structures.

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