the money available for this treatment.
Another of my projects involves designing and making completely new compounds that will possibly be protease inhibitors, also active against HIV.
Pros and cons of the job
The pro is easy, as my job is very interesting and every day brings something new. It is not repetitive and requires that new skills be developed on an ongoing basis. The cons are that it can be extremely frustrating at times if reactions don`t work and finding funding for research work is often difficult and time-consuming.
Required studies or experience
The starting point for this career is a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Chemistry (BSc, 3 years) followed by an honours degree (BSc Hons, 1 year). For a research career at least a Master`s degree in Science must also be completed (MSc, usually 2 years) and preferably a PhD in organic chemistry (usually 3-4 years). Otherwise, an obvious requirement is a deep interest in science and discovery.
In order to do this type of work a person must love science and must thrive on learning new things. They must also not be the kind of person to give up easily!
An average day
Most days will start with planning the synthetic reaction that is to be done on that day. This will involve working out how much of everything one will need and finding the required glassware and preparing the solvents that are going to be needed. Once all this is done, the reaction can be started and will often need to be watched to make sure it remains at the correct temperature required for that reaction and to make sure that nothing goes wrong. Once the reaction is complete, then something called “work-up” is done, where the products and any remaining starting material are recovered from the reaction mixture. At this point, purification of the product is carried out and this is followed by something called NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) analysis to find out what the structure of your product is. If the right product has been made then you celebrate, if not, it is back to the drawing-board.
Best thing about the job
There is always something new going on and the job doesn`t involve routine work.
Worst thing about the job
One of the most difficult aspects is trying to secure funding for the research and I would regard this as the worst thing about the job.
Published By: Liezl Maclean