Young researchers of INQUIRE

Alexander Zherebker

Positon: Post-doc

Partner institute:University of Cambridge

Research focus:

My first steps as a researcher were in the field of high-resolution mass spectrometry and its application to study complex natural mixtures. Before I joined Giorio’s laboratory and INQUIRE project I was focused on molecular fingerprints of hydrosphere and soil ecosystems. Now I am happy to add atmosphere to my expertise. For the INQUIRE project I am developing mass spectrometry methods to assess oxidative potential of indoor particulate matter. The goal of this activity is to examine if in vitro toxicity of indoor aerosols can be partially attributed to oxidative properties of heavy metals, which become soluble in the lung epithelium 

Work package(s):  WP3

Role in INQUIRE: Responsible for Cambridge activity within WP3 and a communication guru

What got me interested in research in the first place: I always loved the concept of a constant search for the answers rather than having a solid knowledge. Research work during my postgraduate and PhD studies was challenging and required to come with a lot of new ideas, develop methods and approaches; and it was absolutely amazing. With the INQUIRE I have a chance to be a part of the international team working on the project which is both fascinating and important to society. 

My favourite thing about being a researcher:

Besides research itself my second favourite thing about my job is people. Despite different backgrounds and disciplines we share fundamental principles of scientific cognition and at the same time we are united by curiosity. Talking to colleagues around the world, being inspired by their work – this is a huge benefit of being a researcher. One particular occasion I will always cherish was when I got to spend the whole day with a Nobel prize winner Sir Harry Kroto and his wife.  

Fun fact about myself: Played saxophone in a brass band at high school and in experimental rock band during undergraduate. Forced Sir Harry Kroto to take a picture with the football 😊.

Hobbies: I love playing tennis and watching movies.