The chemistry set

When I was young, my father bought me a chemistry set with hundreds of experiments. He told me that if I studied hard, he would reward me with the set. Although I never received that set, I studied because I love to study and explore topics and subjects beyond the school curriculum.

Einstein, soap and glass

I was appointed librarian in high school and managed to devour many books that were gathering dust in the library, including Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity. I also became the only “member” of the high school chemistry club, where the teacher trusted me enough to run the chemistry lab. I studied the chemistry of perfume, soap, glass making, and much more. This sparked my interest in chemistry and biochemistry.


This Body This Life book on health, fitness and nutrition, by brothers Seamus Phan and CJ Phan
Finally, in junior college, I started a science project that became a life project. I began to study the autoxidation of lipids (oils and fats) such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, butter, milk, etc. I researched the various natural and commercial antioxidants used in foods as additives to retard autoxidation, as well as proposed antioxidants that may have eventual use in foods or cosmetics, and also studied anti-aging. This research took a “deep freeze” and was rekindled during the recent global crisis, where time was freed up to continue further research in this area, especially related to toxicity, ongoing and emerging developments related to internal oxidative processes in the human body, and anti-aging as well. Why did I revive this research? It has to do with the book I co-authored with my younger brother on health and fitness, This Body This Life.

I managed to have more time to rekindle the oxidation research, which eventually culminated in a series of edits, tweaks, updated content, rewrites, and finally found a home in an academic journal related to healthcare and health (10.9734/ajmah/2022/v20i430457), as well as a chapter in a medical book (10.9734/bpi/cpms/v4/2754A). Please also visit my ResearchGate page. There will be ongoing postdoctoral work in this area, as well as diet and nutrition in relation to anti-aging.

What comes next is still a BIG unknown. But this could be a new phase in the future! Stay tuned for what I plan to do with my research in a consumer oriented idea.