UCL News


Seven questions with... Giuliamonica Leonardi

16 January 2015

This week we put seven questions to Giuliamonica Leonardi, MRes, Organic Chemistry.

Seven questions with Giuliamonica Leonardi

Why did you choose UCL?

The quality of the campus is outstanding at many levels. Interdisciplinary campus, international environment, inspiring didactic staff and obviously the location are just a few of the characteristics that made me like UCL. 

There are lots of facilities and instruments available in the Department of Chemistry which are important features for carrying on a successful research project. 

Moreover, the variety of courses offered is impressive. From general to more specific programmes there are always plenty of opportunities to develop my skills. More specifically, the programme I chose offers a good background in medicinal chemistry while still giving me the chance to take part in innovative and exciting research projects. I believe it is the perfect bridge between the bachelor degree and the PhD.

What is the most interesting thing you've done, seen or got involved with whilst at UCL?

Certainly the research project I am involved in is probably the most curious activity I have taken part in. I am currently working in a friendly laboratory on the origins of life. It is pretty exciting and fascinating -at least for me- to study the chemistry behind the biology that takes place every day, routinely, without even us noticing it.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

Definitely the Print room café. It is a nice and comfortable place to read emails or just hang-out with friends while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

I particularly enjoy wandering around the city and discovering new places. Once I found this amazing place close to Tower bridge: a little harbour curved inwards with cafés, restaurant and sailing accessories shops. It is definitely worth the go and if you have time treat yourself with a gourmand Ben's Cookie.

Going to see a musical should definitely be on the "MUST DO" list of everyone in London. There are plenty of choices of genres and some good deals for students. I recently saw Wicked and it was a great show.

London appears even more beautiful to me at night without the tourist crowd. The lights make the city shine. Walking around the city's tourist hot spots such as Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus is magical to me. If you get short of ideas for a romantic date, definitely consider this one.

If you were to switch departments or courses at UCL, what would you study instead and why?

This is a difficult question to answer because I have known since I was nine years old that I wanted to become a chemist and since then I always liked it more and more. I have always been curious about understanding people's minds, more precisely the chemistry/biology behind it. Therefore I guess I would switch to neurology.  

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Interesting and relaxed people who enjoy sharing a good meal in good company. A table with both travellers who can share some funny or interesting anecdotes and people with different jobs but also share something in common could allow a wide range of discussion subjects. I like to think at six guests is the perfect number for a pleasant dinner.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I have been a synchronized swimmer for nine years and I speak six languages.