Sakura Pascarelli

Group leader and scientist

“Swimming is a big part of my daily life and I train at least 4 times a week. It’s my passion and I still qualify every year for the French championships. I love the club life. We are a close-knit community with people from many different backgrounds. When we’re away at races, we’re one big family and I always end up cooking pasta for everyone. Although it’s important for the club to bring home medals, what really attracts me is to push myself, to get tired through swimming and that great feeling of flowing with energy after a session. It’s also an essential ingredient of my well-being at work. I graduated in Rome in 1989 and started doing research at one of the first synchrotron radiation sources in Europe. At the time, my boss was in charge of building the Italian CRG beamline at the ESRF and that’s how I got involved. He needed someone to be positioned in Grenoble on a permanent basis and everyone else in the team had good reasons to stay in Italy. I was the youngest so I couldn’t pick and choose what my tasks were going to be, but in fact that’s how I learned about everything. Today, it’s my strength: I can talk about anything on the beamline, I am familiar with all the hard core subjects – the X-ray optics, the instruments, how to optimise and imagine the next step. I learned so much in that early period and I built up many lasting relationships. My successes are due to the many excellent people with whom I’ve worked on projects over the years.” 

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