Paul Santerre is a Professor from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He designs biomaterials that can be used for drug delivery or long-term implants like hip replacements.
We asked for details on everything from his admiration for Charles Darwin to his molecularly-obsessed mind in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.
What do you like most about being a researcher?
The freedom to think about anything that makes the world and people go around, and know that there is likely an experiment that can be conceived to prove or disprove it.
What advice would you give young researchers?
Find your passion and don’t chase the popular theme over the passion theme. No one will be better at developing your ideas than you if you are pursuing it with passion.
What inspired you to become a researcher?
I could not stop being curious about how molecules were assembled and then how those molecules themselves could self-assemble when processed into materials. My early undergrad professors gave me the chance to explore that at will.
What do you like to do for fun?
Walk and think, read and dream, write and create, listen and feel, travel and explore the world.
What’s your favourite cuisine?
Seafood by any culture.
If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
Fiction writer. It is in the master plan if I can ever stop seeing molecules in my head.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
Oh, that is so not a fair question because you are going to force me to choose from so many facets of life. However, if I am forced to chose it would likely be Darwin, as he above all humans was the first scientist to popularize to us that we are nothing more than a blip in the map of the evolutionary universe. If more of us appreciated that, maybe we would be a bit more careful with the precarious state of our planet.