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Big goals by small steps

Women of IMC Krems - Focus month “Women in science”

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and International Women’s Day, IMC Krems presents female scientists and their motives. This time: chemist and Senior Lecturer Anna Malyshenko, PhD, MSc.

Chemist Anna Malyshenko on the path to sustainable innovation in green chemistry.

Born in Ukraine, Anna Malyshenko, PhD, MSc holds bachelor and master degrees from the University of Kharkiv, Ukraine, and a PhD in chemistry from the National Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev. After her studies, she worked as an associate professor at the Medical University in Kiev before moving to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna/Tulln for three months as a post-doc. From there, she came to IMC Krems, where she has been working as a Senior Lecturer and scientist at the Institute of Applied Chemistry since 2023.

Future industry of green chemistry

Anna Malyshenko is working in the field of green chemistry, the main aim of which is to minimise or avoid the production and use of hazardous substances. In her research project “Stereoselective Molecular Recognition Materials”, she is looking for and investigating innovative renewable raw materials, mainly for use in the pharmaceutical sector. “My main goals are to find the derivatisation of their structures, the search for optimal conditions of analytical separation and the development of molecular recognition mechanisms,” the young scientist explains. The focus is always on the sustainable use of the environment.

Malyshenko comes from a family with an affinity for research – her parents are mathematicians, her grandparents are radiophysicists. The IMC lecturer chose chemistry because it is a science that “you can not only learn and memorise, but also ‘touch’ and observe in nature”. She completed her bachelor and master degrees at university with honours; then she worked for several years at a scientific institute in the field of nanomaterials. During her PhD studies, she completed an internship in Germany with the help of a scholarship before researching and teaching at the Medical University in Kiev. Her position at IMC Krems allows Malyshenko to combine her two passions – teaching and research.

A boundless space of knowledge

Because of her family background, Malyshenko is used to women working in science, so she sees no restrictions here. “In my opinion, science is a boundless space of knowledge where you can always learn something new, constantly develop and have an impact on the development of society,” says the researcher. She advises women to always look ahead and move forwards. “Enrich your ‘knowledge basket’ anew every day,” concludes Malyshenko.

Three questions – three answers:

Why did you choose green chemistry?

Working in this field fascinates and encourages me a lot, as every step and even the smallest result has an impact on the sustainable treatment of our environment.

What does research mean to you?

For me, research is a wonderful combination of art, creativity, the limitless capabilities of our nature and the knowledge that aims to improve people’s lives and discover new possibilities.

What advice would you like to give to young women and aspiring scientists?

Achieve big goals by small steps and always believe in yourself.