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HomeImpossibles: Your Stories of Scientific Advancement

Impossibles: Your Stories of Scientific Advancement

Feature Stories

Micaella Jorg

Micaella Jorge: My Next Great Impossible

Micaella Jorge is a research scientist focused on diagnostic development. She tells us how she is currently working on a diagnostic device that could differentiate between bacterial and viral infections, and the positive impact it could have in the future.

TU Darmstadt iGEM Team

TU Darmstadt iGEM team’s Next Great Impossible

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is an academic contest in synthetic biology, bringing together aspiring scientists from across the world. Since 2012, the Technische Universität Darmstadt has entered teams and in 2021 the iGEM team consisted of 30 students. Eight of these participated in the Next Great Impossible.

Nominate a Peer

We all know someone who sees impossible as a challenge

Nominate them and they’ll receive a coveted Sigma-Aldrich® beaker mug, as well as the chance to feature in our Impossibles series.

Nominate


Additional Stories

Meike Ramon
Meike Ramon

Meike Ramon is a cognitive neuroscientist and neuropsychologist whose work focuses on face processing and includes both fundamental and applied research. She tells us why she’s so passionate about her work and how she’s aiming to transform the role of facial recognition in policing and the legal system.

Jamil Mahmud
Jamil Mahmud

Jamil Mahmud is a PhD student researching the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). His ambition is to revolutionize the current anti-HCMV treatment and develop one that prevents HCMV infection and diseases associated with the virus itself.

Mauro Mato
Mauro Mato

Mauro Mato is a PhD student at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ). He told us about his work and aspirations for greater sustainability in organic synthesis and organometallic chemistry.

Rui Zhang
Rui Zhang

Rui Zhang is a chemist working on his PhD in organic synthesis at the University of Chicago. He told us about the importance of a good advisor and seeing every result as a learning opportunity.

Isabelle Leibler
Isabelle Leibler

Isabelle Leibler is a joint Ph.D. student with Professors Abigail G. Doyle and Robert R. Knowles researching at Princeton University. She told us more about her work on photocatalytic C(sp3)-H functionalization, and how her athlete’s mindset helps her in the lab.

Rachel Knapp
Rachel Knapp

Rachel Knapp is a PhD student researching organic synthesis in the Garg Laboratory at UCLA. She gave us an insight into her creative methods and what drives her to keep pushing for new solutions in a well-established field.

Manuela Alavaren Samaco
Manuela Alavaren Samaco

Manuela Alavaren Samaco is a biologist and plant pathologist focused on making an impact on global food security. She tells us why she is so passionate about this area of research and about the people who’ve motivated her in her scientific career.

Giuseppe Emanuele Lio
Giuseppe Emanuele Lio

Dr. Giuseppe Emanuele Lio is a material scientist and research fellow at the National Institute of Optics and European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy in Florence, Italy. He told us about working with lasers in his quest for new nano-devices.

Brianna Manning
Brianna Manning

Microbiologist Brianna Manning is working to find new methods of treating Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. She explains why phages could be a solution, and who inspires her to keep striving for answers. 

Shafi Khan
Kabidul Azam

Molecular biologist Kabidul Azam is looking to the natural world to find treatments for diabetes. He told us about his research and why problems in the lab are not necessarily all bad news.

Shafi Khan
Irem Omurtag Korkmaz

Microbiologist and trained veterinarian Dr. Irem Omurtag Korkmaz is researching natural antibiotic alternatives in the animal industry. She explains how multidisciplinary collaboration has helped broaden her scientific understanding.

Antonio Ferraro
Antonio Ferraro

Dr. Antonio Ferraro is a material scientist working to develop heat-generating nanostructures to treat cancers. He explains how creative thinking has helped him succeed as a researcher.

Braden Tierney
Braden Tierney

Biomedical scientist Braden Tierney is working to translate human microbiome data into disease predictors - he explains how failure has shaped him into a better scientist.

Macarena Martín Mayor
Macarena Martín Mayor

Macarena Martín Mayor is studying for a doctorate in marine science at the University of South Florida, USA. She tells us about her research into ocean CO2 levels, and the people and inspirations that keep her motivate

Johnny Lee Wah
Johnny Lee Wah

Organic chemist Dr. Johnny Wah Lee is on a quest to advance the discovery of novel organic molecules. He explains why sharing his passion with the next generation of researchers has been the most rewarding part of his career.

Kanchana Ayyar
Kanchana Ayyar

Kanchana Ayyar is a molecular biologist working to transform the diagnostic approach to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She explains how guidance from mentors is the key to finding success.

Naman Rao
Naman Rao

Naman Rao is a dentist-scientist originally from India, now working in Boston to improve early diagnosis of malignant oral disorders. He discusses how simplicity is key when developing research for a global context.

Natalia Manousi
Natalia Manousi

Natalia Manousi is an analytical chemist in Greece researching new ways to reduce the environmental impact of her field. She explains what this involves and why it’s so important.

Emily Sey
Emily Sey

Cell biologist Emily Sey is researching the immune response to life-threatening fungal infections – she describes how big picture thinking helps her take every setback and success in her stride.

Pardis Sabeti
Pardis Sabeti

Pardis Sabeti is a professor of computational biology, working to predict and track future infectious disease outbreaks. She explains how sharing data will help us win the war on infectious disease.

WhiteFeather Hunter
WhiteFeather Hunter

WhiteFeather Hunter is a Canadian researcher pursuing a Ph.D. at The University of Western Australia. She told us about her work on menstrual blood products and what ‘women in STEM’ really means to her.

Yang Gan
Yang Gan

Yang Gan is a material chemist, studying methods to improve sapphire utilization in LED manufacturing – he tells us how curiosity is the key to scientific innovation.

María Isabel Amorín
María Isabel Amorín

María Isabel Amorín is a MSc student at the University of Edinburgh and the creator of CrustaTec, a project that aims to solve two of Guatemala’s biggest environmental problems in one go.

Amritpal Singh Chaddha
Amritpal Singh Chaddha

Amritpal Singh Chaddha is a geochemist in India studying how rock varnish formation can unravel the mysteries of past climates.

Ayse Turak
Ayse Turak

Dr. Ayse Turak followed the curiosity cultivated by her parents all the way to her current project: helping satellite communications break through the clouds. 

Barbara Guinn
Barbara Guinn

Dr. Barbara Guinn is looking to find ways for a faster diagnosis of endometriosis. She tells us about the women who inspire her to pursue her work and why it’s so important.

Christian Nwosu
Christian Nwosu

At the University of Regina in Canada, Christian Nwosu is striving towards cheap and abundant hydrogen fuel – he tells us all about his methods and what inspires him.  

Fahad Shafiq
Fahad Shafiq

Having recently completed his Ph.D., Dr. Fahad Shafiq is on a mission to boost crop productivity and feed our growing global population – here he tells us about his inspiration.

Frederick West
Frederick West

Professor Frederick West tells us how a discussion with a Ph.D. student informed his current work on antiviral drugs to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gabriel dos Passos Gomes
Gabriel dos Passos Gomes

Dr. Gabriel dos Passos Gomes is involved in cutting-edge work using artificial intelligence to improve chemical reactions – he tells us how he’s inspired by the people around him.

Julian West
Julian West

Dr. Julian West is a chemist focused on the field of organic synthesis. He reminds us to always be on the lookout for inspiration from other people and other disciplines of research.

Kevin Lam
Kevin Lam

Dr. Kevin Lam, Associate Professor at the University of Greenwich, tells us about his journey within electrosynthesis: from its beginnings as a niche discipline to the burgeoning field it is today. 

Kshitij RB Singh
Kshitij RB Singh

Kshitij RB Singh is a biochemist specializing in nanobiotechnology. He’s currently working on fabricating plant material-based biosensors for the detection and diagnosis of lifestyle diseases. He gives us an insight into the details of his innovative work. 

Lei Tao
Lei Tao

Award-winning professor Lei Tao talks about his work on de novo polymer design and his proudest career moments so far. 

Michael Crocker
Michael Crocker

Michael Crocker tells us about his prize-winning work at Vanderbilt University and his constant desire to keep learning.

Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas tells us about his research to replace synthetic fertilizers with sustainable alternatives to help solve the problem of rising global food demand.

Mila Emerald
Mila Emerald

A researcher based in Canada, Professor Dr. Mila Emerald has a distinguished background in nanotechnology and drug development – she told us how she got where she is today.

Miranda Imeri
Miranda Imeri

Miranda Imeri founded the Kosovo Wildlife Society and is the first person in the country to achieve an MSc as a wildlife engineer. She aims to protect large carnivores including the critically endangered lynx as she continues her Ph.D. research.

Ramis Arbi
Ramis Arbi

Working in the field of photovoltaics, Ph.D. candidate Ramis Arbi tells us about the challenges of breaking free from fossil fuels. 

Miranda Imeri
Samantha Apps

Samantha Apps tells us about her work on exploring new ways to produce ammonia and the importance of perseverance.

Samantha Green
Samantha Green

Samantha Green tells us about her work on dual catalysis at the Scripps Research Institute and the need to pursue crazy ideas.

Samuel Perry
Samuel Perry

Dr. Samuel Perry’s work has the potential to reduce both carbon emissions and fossil fuel use at the same time – he told us how ‘talking to everyone’ keeps him motivated.

Shafi Khan
Shafi Khan

Research scientist Shafi Ullah Khan is using AI to improve breast cancer treatment – he told us how his having ‘crazy ideas’ supported motivates him to keep going.