Prof. Castillo Edmundo, Chemistry, guest professor at the JMU26.06.2019
Prof. Castillo is doing research in the field of Chemistry. His home University is one of the biggest in the world. He is currently a guest professor at the JMU in the field of organic chemistry.
How would you describe your research in the field of sugar in a short way?
Through the history of humanity, the sweet taste of sugars has been directly associated with pleasure and makes them an innate biological attraction. We often ask: Are sugars a food, an ingredient or just a chemical? At present it is known that these substances fulfill an infinity of functions beyond their nutritional function. In fact, it is known that in addition to their function as flavors or energy sources, sugars perform different functions in living organisms such as: signaling and molecular carriers, regulators of fats and proteins metabolism or as regulators of the intestinal microbiota. My research work focuses on the development of strategies for the incorporation of sugars into molecules of interest in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. Particularly, through the use of combined chemo-enzymatic strategies.
You are working at one of the biggest universities worldwide - how would you describe the different feeling there and here at the Hubland Campus?
While it is true that my University is big and well recognized worldwide, for me it is an enriching experience to be able to work at the Julius Maximilians-Universität at Würzburg. In fact, the Institut für Organische Chemie has a great international reputation for its high-quality researchers and for the projects they develop in my area of expertise.
How big are your courses and do you have personal exchange with different students/PhD's?
The work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is divided into the training of undergraduate and graduate students. It is intended that the undergraduate courses are not taught to more than 60 students per course per teacher For the masters and doctorate courses we do not have more than 15-20 students per course per teacher. My position as a researcher at the UNAM is directly related to the training of Master's and Doctoral students.
Mexico City is a mega city - could you tell us what you love the most about your home town?
Particularly, I think the climate and food of Mexico City are exceptional. Because of Mexico City is located in a high plateau, the average temperatures of Mexico City do not exceed 25ºC in the hottest season or go below 5ºC in the coldest days. Due to the variety and the elaborated process of the Mexican food it is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
What do you think about Alumni networks/networks of Universities?
I think that this type of networks should be promoted and supported directly by the universities, this for the benefit of the entire university community. The academic training is not the only thing that should be taught in universities, students should learn to incorporate themselves integrally into society, the "Alumni networks" can be an interesting way to achieve this.