Chemistry Graduate Student Azin Saebi describes her research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.
Originally from Tehran, Iran, Azin Saebi has lived in the United States for six years – five of which were spent in Southern California. She has been at MIT for a year and is a member of the Buchwald and Pentelute groups, where her research focuses on protein cross-coupling using palladium chemistry, in addition to synthesis of antimicrobial conjugates against gram-negative bacteria. As the subject of September 2018’s Graduate Student Spotlight, Azin shares her irrational fear, the person she’d like to be stuck in an elevator with, the subject she could give a 40 minute presentation on with zero preparation, and more!What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?
Harry Potter! It must be nice to use magic to do housework.
- If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I really really like sleeping! Even if I didn’t have to sleep I would probably end up trying to nap during that time. It’s relaxing and refreshing and I wouldn’t want to give it up just to have an extra couple of hours in my day.
- If you were on a 27 hour flight and could only watch one movie, what would it be?
It’s not really a movie but I’d watch any episode of Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting.
- What bit of trivia do you know that is very interesting but also very useless?
Titan (one of Saturn’s moons or satellites) has solid, liquid and gas methane; Just like the Earth has water in solid, liquid and gas forms. I honestly don’t know if this is interesting or even true or not, but it’s definitely very useless.
- Who are three of your favorite fictional characters?
Stewie Griffin from family guy, Mushu (Mulan’s mini dragon), and Jigglypuff.
- What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Way back in high school I went on a school trip to a city named Yazd for a couple of days. That was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken!
- Who would be the best person you could be stuck in an elevator with?
Queen Elizabeth! First of all, it’s the queen so you know they’re going to save us! Also, I just finished watching The Crown, so I have some questions for her!
- If you were given five million dollars to open a small museum, what kind of museum would you create?
A chocolate museum! A museum filled with chocolate from all around the world where the visitors can actually get samples of the chocolate and try it. I’d essentially open a chocolate factory not a museum!
- What are some small things that make your day better?
Friends, boba, chocolate, nice weather.
- What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
It really should be my research but in all honesty, Grey’s Anatomy.
- What’s worth spending more on to get the best?
- If you suddenly became a master at woodworking, what would you make?
A rocking chair big enough for napping.
- What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?
Friends (the TV show).
- What irrational fear do you have?
I’m deathly scared of the pipes in swimming pools. I’m also really scared of the autoclave and ultracentrifuges but in my opinion those are not completely irrational.
- What chance encounter changed your life forever?
Back in 6th grade, the very first day of middle school, I randomly sat next to someone who is still my best friend. That was pretty lucky…. For her that is!
- If you could have a never-ending candle that smelled like anything you wanted, what fragrance would you want it to be?
Orange Blossom! It smells heavenly!
- If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?
- If animals could talk, which animal do you think would be the most annoying, and why?
Horses. I have a feeling that they would keep talking while eating which would get annoying really fast.
- What was your favorite book as a child, and what is your favorite book now?
As a child (is a 15-year-old considered a child?) I was really into vampire-themed books so Vampire Academy was my favorite for a while. Now I’d say my favorite book is The Glass Castle.
- If you could pick any career other than the one you’ve chosen, what would it be?
I’d probably choose another science-related career just because it’d be an easy transition. But if I were to completely quit science, I would definitely try to become an FBI agent.
Thank you so much, Azin, for these thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for more Graduate Student Spotlights in the months to come.