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Paola Morelli, Journal Development Specialist

Name: Paola Morelli
Current position: Journal Development Specialist
Place: Frontiers SA
Field of work: Overseeing the development of two Open Access journals, Frontiers in Chemistry and Frontiers in Materials

What was your position and research topic with the NCCR Chemical Biology?

I did my PhD in the group of Professor Stefan Matile, working on cell-penetrating polydisulfides, focusing on side chain engineering to study new properties and improve their cellular uptake.

What would you say that was the best or more exciting science moment of your career until now?

When I tested my fluorescent polymers for the first time into HeLa cells and could see the whole cell lighting up, a unique experience!

What did you find unique about your collaboration with the NCCR Chemical Biology?

Being a part of the NCCR allows the PhD to be interdisciplinary and have the chance to collaborate and work closely with different departments, outside of chemistry.

What are the skills acquired during your stay within the NCCR Chemical Biology that are useful to you today?

The collaborations I fostered within the NCCR allowed me to improve my communication skills and learn to relate with colleagues working on different projects.

What do you like the most in your current position?

Talking to scientists from all over the world about their research in different fields across the material and chemical sciences as well as actively advocating for open science.

Do you have any advice to give to current NCCR members who are interested in your professional career (or in general)?

Start thinking about your career and focus on cultivating experiences that will allow you to receive transferable skills for the future. The NCCR offers unique opportunities to get ready for the next steps and to develop strong communication skills.


Paola Morelli received her PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Geneva in February 2018, under the supervision of Professor Stefan Matile. Her PhD work was supported by the NCCR Chemical Biology and focused on the side chain engineering of cell-penetrating polydisulfides. In April 2018 she started working in Frontiers as a Journal Development Specialist overseeing the growth of two Open Access journals: Frontiers in Chemistry and Frontiers in Materials. From August 2019 she will be working as a Journal Manager for two Journals in Frontiers which are part of the Physical Sciences and Engineering program.

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