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Since 2013, scientist Julia Zaks has worked at Agilent Technologies, a company in the San Francisco Bay Area that makes instruments for scientific research.
Last year, she made a big decision: it was time to take an educational leave from her job.
“The work I do involves a lot of processes that are still not scientifically well understood,” she explains.
She worked in mass spectrometry, an analytical technique used to identify and weigh molecular compounds. Specifically, she researched ways to convert liquid samples—like blood, urine or stream water—into charged ions that a mass spectrometer can analyze.
“I had gotten to the point where, in order to learn more, I needed to talk to people in fields different from mine."
She accepted a position as a research associate in an atmospheric chemistry lab at UBC. In July 2020, she and her husband Robert and their 3 young children relocated to Vancouver.