Short interview with Professor Emma Sparr
Emma Sparr, Professor in Physical Chemistry and Colloidal Biology
What courses do you teach?
"Surface and Colloid Chemistry at the Bachelor's level (KEMB07) and Advanced Surface and Colloid Chemistry (KEMM77)."
What is the best thing 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 have many important applications, such as the stability of milk or paint, or how lipids and proteins organise themselves into biomembranes. It fits into many areas of chemistry, from biochemistry to biophysics, and is relevant for formulation, which is used for pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and much more."
Why would you recommend the Master’s programme in Physical Chemistry at Lund University to prospective students?
"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 the 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 solve problems together. 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 your best tip for prospective students?
"When you start specialising or nearing the end of your education and you think about what would be the most tactical thing 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."