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The University of Southampton
ChemistryPostgraduate study

Julien de Sousa PhD

Postgraduate student

Julien de Sousa's Photo

Hi, I'm Julien de Sousa and I studied PhD within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.

Southampton ranks among the best universities in Europe to study chemistry and byu choosing to study here I have been given the opportunity to work with renowned researchers.

Originally from Paris, where I grew up until my A-levels, I have always been fascinated by chemistry. My scientific curiosity lead me to do my undergraduate study in Strasbourg, one the best French Universities for chemistry. After completing my Engineering degree specialised in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry, I did a MSc in Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry which allowed me to go to Oxford University through a collaboration.
 
Being extremely passionate about research, postgraduate study was the natural next step. Aware of the quality and the excellence of English Institutions in terms of research, I decided to apply for PhD in the UK. However, the choice of the research subject was also a predominant aspect. I found in Southampton a new programme that matched with my interests. Southampton ranks among the best universities in Europe to study chemistry and byu choosing to study here I have been given the opportunity to work with renowned researchers.

I have been selected to be part of a European Joint-Scheme program between the UK and France. Funded by the British Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the French Direction Générale de l’Armement (Ministry of Defence). This three-year research project involves the laboratories of Prof. Richard Brown (University of Southampton - Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Rachid Baati (University of Strasbourg - CNRS - ICPEES). I am personally focusing on the development (design and synthesis) of new antidotes for people that have been exposed to nerve agents poisoning. I also have access to the biology and structural biology that our consortium is developing. This multidisciplinary aspect gives a better understanding of the project, facing all parameters for the conceptions of new drugs and not only on the chemistry point of view, which is the case in many PhDs.

If I was to give any advice to the undergraduates that might consider pursuing postgraduate study: do it! If you are curious and motivated, go for it! It is worth it! Doing a PhD is a nice and smooth transition to the world of work. Being involved in a research group, you gain experience, become more confident about yourself and then you will become more independent. You will also develop other skills such as your scientific curiosity and communication when you have present your research with posters presntations and talks, etc. which I really enjoy.

I had the opportunity to spend one year and half in the industry (fragrance and pharmaceutical) and I loved it. So, I am probably going into that direction following my PhD.

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