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Graduate Student Spotlight: Nicole Angehrn

Categories: Research, Students

Chemistry Graduate Student Nicole Angehrn describes her research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.

Nicole Angehrn is currently in her first year of graduate school in the Department of Chemistry. Nicole is half Swiss and half Mexican, and she grew up in Mexico, but moved to Switzerland in 2019. There, she conducted her undergraduate studies in Interdisciplinary Sciences at ETH Zurich.

“I decided to do a PhD in Physical Chemistry, and more specifically solid-state NMR, because I wanted to do research in a very interdisciplinary field that used a lot of mathematics and quantum mechanics for biological research,” Nicole explains.

Currently, Nicole is a member of Professor Mei Hong’s lab, where she and her fellow researchers use magic angle spinning solid state NMR to elucidate structure and dynamics of biological systems. Nicole’s research is focused on solid state NMR methods development and applications to understand the structure of the Tau protein, which has been found to aggregate in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

As the subject of this Graduate Student Spotlight, Nicole shares a bit of very interesting useless information, the item she believes is worth spending more on to get the best, the house she’d build with a bottomless budget, and more!

  1. What bit of trivia do you know that is very interesting but also very useless?
    Baby cheetahs have evolved to look like honey badgers from an aerial point of view, so that eagles don’t think baby cheetahs could be snacks because honey badgers are too vicious to be food.
  2. What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?
    What would be the worst to live in? Animal Crossing would be the best, a life with no worries! The worst is probably game of thrones, fun to watch but wouldn’t want to live there.
  3. If you were given five million dollars to open a small museum, what kind of museum would you create?
    A miniature model museum of any kind! Maybe one of the cities I have lived in.
  4. What’s worth spending more on to get the best?
    Winter and rain jackets!
  5. What is special about the place you grew up?
    Strawberries 🙂
  6. If you could pick any career other than the one you’ve chosen, what would it be?
    Going to Antarctica to study penguins!
  7. What bends your mind every time you think about it?
    Any time I think about the size of the universe or any cosmology related topic.
  8. As a child, what did you think would be awesome, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?
    Full disclosure: I know a lot of people who are doing awesome science with lasers! But as a very imaginative kid, seeing a laser set up for the first time was kind of disappointing.
  9. What problem or situation did TV / movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?
    I guess I’ve never seen anyone slip on a banana peel haha
  10. If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?
    A house at the Zürich lake with large windows and beautiful mid century modern interior with a nice kitchen and dining rooms to host dinner parties, and a big garden with lots of space for a puppy to run around.
  11. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
    Do’s and don’ts when training for a marathon!
  12. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
    Wildlife Photography :)))))
  13. What food do you crave most often?
  14. What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
    The Good Place, I loved the show, but I just can’t enjoy it as much knowing all the plot twists!
  15. What invention doesn’t get a lot of love, but has greatly improved the world?
    Vaccines, they shouldn’t be as controversial…
  16. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
    Recently I saw a dad reading a book to his kid while riding the T, it was such a wholesome and beautiful interaction.
  17. What inconsequential super power would you like to have?
    Seeing more colors.
  18. What animal or plant do you think should be renamed, and what should the new name be?
    I think ferrets should be called fluffy slinkies.
  19. What are some small things that make your day better?
    A good run, a great cup of cappuccino or chai latte, tiny little lab glassware, petting a friendly dog, and laughing until my belly hurts.
  20. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
    I would ask for the solution to quantum gravity.