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Laura Lechuga

Head of the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Application Group, Research Centre in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona, Spain; Co-founder of SENSIA, SL and BIOD, SL
Country of birth: Spain

Educational background: PhD Chemistry, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain; MS and BSc Chemistry, University of Cádiz, Spain

 

Laura Lechuga

Who or what inspired you to work in science/engineering?
I wanted to obtain my doctoral degree in science as a way of self-improvement. It was challenging to share knowledge and skills with talented scientists from whom I could learn, as a way to help me to establish myself as an independent researcher. Although I had a background in chemistry, I did my PhD at the National Microelectronics Center. While working there, I saw the huge possibilities of technology, and I decided to focus my work on producing devices for real applications. My postdoc was highly inspired by the powerful world of optics for biosensing,
paving the way for my future activities.

Primary responsibilities of your current job
I work on the development of optical biosensor devices for early diagnostics, which can be integrated in portable platforms. I supervise a multidisciplinary team for creating powerful technologies based on plasmonics, integrated optics and nanomechanics. Our devices are intended to be user-friendly for the general public, avoiding the inconveniences of laboratory tests. These devices afford the early detection of diseases and improvement in treatment. My responsibilities include all aspects of science and technology research: planning and supervising teamwork, guiding the professional development of my group, writing articles, giving presentations at conferences and workshops, looking for financial support, evaluating proposals, refereeing articles, etc.

Advice you wish you had received when you were first starting out
I wish I had been told that to obtain good results in science and team management, the members of a group have to be selected from the best. Continuous training in emerging trends is a must, and getting funding is time-consuming, but mandatory.