Andrii Kyrylchuk in his office at University of California, San Francisco, USA
We’ve noticed that some Mendeley Advisors’ research takes them places around the globe. One Advisor whose career exemplifies this is Andrii Kyrylchuk. Initially graduating from the National Technical University of Ukraine in Kyiv with a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Organic Substances, Andrii has spent the first decade of his career as a visiting researcher in Finland, Italy, and now as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the United States.
What attracted you to working at UCSF?
UCSF is one of the world leading institutions in medicinal chemistry and life sciences. Shoichet’s lab, where I am currently working, is among the top research groups that specialize in virtual drug discovery.
How did you become interested in your field?
I’ve been passionate about chemistry since my early childhood. I had my small laboratory at the balcony of the ordinary soviet-style apartment. My bookshelf was full of high-school and university chemical textbooks. I was hunting for new books and glassware across the small city where I lived. So, it was really easy to choose what I want to do with my life.
I studied industrial organic chemistry for my master’s, then did organic chemistry in my PhD years, and then transitioned to computational organic chemistry. In addition to the research in organic chemistry, I worked on carbon membranes during my Fulbright Fellowship. In 2020 I got interested in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, and spent some time working in the leading Ukrainian chemical company Enamine Ltd. This year I joined UCSF and my key focus is virtual screening and early drug discovery.
Where do you work the best? What kind of environment suits you?
Surprisingly, I often find inspiration strikes in rather unusual places: a coffee shop, a train ride or on a flight. I also enjoy working outside. But the best place is always where my colleagues are!
How long have you been using Mendeley?
My journey into science with Mendeley started on May 13, 2012. Oh, I had a 10th anniversary this year!
What were you using prior to Mendeley?
I was using MS Word’s own endnotes for citing, and organized my PDF files in simple folders on my PC. That was dreadful.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
When I started using Mendeley, I saw how much easier my life became with it, so naturally I wanted to share this joy with others. Many fellow scientists didn’t know much about reference managers at the time, so encouraging them to use Mendeley was difficult sometimes.
What book are you reading at the moment and why?
“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. My goal is to present my findings in the same engaging and exciting manner this book is written in.
What is the best part about working in research?
The joy of discovering something new, that no one have seen before. Connection through the generations of scientists. And the things you do vary a lot: a bit of programming, wet lab work, paper writing, conferences and so on. Overall, research is the most exciting job one can have!
And the most challenging part about working in research?
For me it is time management and expectation management. Starting a new project, one doesn’t know if the main problem can be solved at all, let alone what means are necessary to solve it. And often it takes much more time and effort thanexpected, and the result is far from the expected.
What advice would you give to young researchers?
My advice would be not to be afraid to change your field! All science is interdisciplinary, so every researcher must know lots of trades. Entering a new field is scary sometimes, but it’s also fun.
What is the most important thing that people should know about Mendeley?
If you make Mendeley a key point in your everyday research, things will become much simpler. People tend to think of reference managers as of tools for writing papers, but Mendeley is much more. When I start a new project, I add all the papers I find to a new folder in Mendeley so that it’s easier to keep all information in one place. A new paper is out from a group I follow? Adding it to Mendeley. Learning new methods or tools? The papers go to a specific subfolder in “Methods” directory. And don’t forget to highlight and make notes while reading!
You can read more about Andrii and his work on these sites:
University website: https://profiles.ucsf.edu/andrii.kyrylchuk
Own website: https://kyrylch.uk/
Interested in the Mendeley Advisor program? Visit https://www.mendeley.com/advisor-community to learn more.