Ty Dudas, a third-year neuroscience student at the University of Lethbridge, has truly embraced the institution's liberal education philosophy. While majoring in neuroscience, Ty's curiosity led him to explore other fields, particularly organic chemistry. His research in organic fluorine chemistry has not only given him unique opportunities to create new molecules with his lab friends but has also ignited a passion for working in the lab.

My biggest takeaway from doing research is how much I enjoy working in a lab. It is incredibly fun to hang out with friends while creating new molecules daily. The feeling and excitement I get when someone in my lab or myself discovers something new is unlike anything else!

What is your research based on? What unique opportunities do you get by taking part in this research?

My research aims to create new processes to make fluorinated molecules. Hopefully, these new processes will be used to make new medicines and agrochemicals cheaper.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

I won the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship last year, allowing me to continue my research over the summer. The summer was very successful, and I achieved many results, winning the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Fluorine Chemistry Undergraduate Research Award.

How have your professors impacted your education?

Professors have significantly impacted my university experience. Dr. Jean-Denys Hamel has allowed me to do a research project where I do cutting-edge reactions that have never been done before. He sees potential in me to do great things and has done so much for me. I owe him more than I can express. My experience in the lab has shown me that a master’s in organic chemistry might be something I want to pursue.

What advice would you like to give to a first-year student about making friends?

When you attend your first-day lecture, introduce yourself to the people around you. Then the next time you see them, it won’t be awkward and you can just say hello. It’s pretty cool because people in university are looking for friends.

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