Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

SBM CDT Science Day

SBM CDT Science Day

The 2nd SBM CDT Science Day took place last Wednesday 12th September. The programme included research presentations from students, a networking lunch and a poster session. With over 100 attendees - including students, academics and industrial partners - the day was a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about the breadth of science being conducted within the programme. more........

Poster prizes for Alistair Sterling, Lorel Scriven and Renee Haver

Poster prizes for Alistair Sterling, Lorel Scriven and Renee Haver

Congratulations to Lorel Scriven, Renee Haver and Alistair Sterling, who were awarded prizes for their posters at CURO-pi-3, the "Third International Symposium on the Synthesis and Application of Curved Organic Pi-Molecules and Materials" in Oxford during 5-7 September. more........

Poster Prize for Thomas Davies

Poster Prize for Thomas Davies

Thomas Davies, a final year SBM CDT DPhil student in the Willis group, won a poster prize at the 28th International Symposium on the Organic Chemistry of Sulfur (ISOCS) in Tokyo, Japan. His poster was titled "One-pot Sulfonimidamide Synthesis from the Sulfinylamine Reagent TrNSO". Thomas's travel to Tokyo was supported by an RSC Intercontinental Travel Grant. more........

Poster prize for Cameron Thorpe

Poster prize for Cameron Thorpe

Cameron Thorpe, DPhil student in the Brown group, was a poster prizewinner and Shotgun Presentation category winner at the International Round Table for Nucleoside, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids. The meeting, held at the University of California, San Diego, brought together over 300 scientists and investigators to discuss recent developments in diverse areas related to the chemistry, biology and medicine of nucleosides, nucleotides and nucleic acids. more........

Poster prize for Piotr Klimowski

Poster prize for Piotr Klimowski

Piotr Klimowski, DPhil student in the Brown group, won a poster prize in the Graduate Student category at the International Round Table for Nucleoside, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids. The meeting, held at the University of California, San Diego, brought together over 300 scientists and investigators to discuss recent developments in diverse areas related to the chemistry, biology and medicine of nucleosides, nucleotides and nucleic acids. more........

Molecular Hopper published in Science

Molecular Hopper published in Science

Yujia Qing in the Bayley lab has made a molecular hopper, a controllable mobile molecule based on simple chemical bond making and breaking. The work is important fundamental science, and also has potentially valuable applications in nanotechnology, including single-molecule DNA sequencing. The full paper, Directional control of a processive molecular hopper, can be read in the Journal Science. more........

Sir John Rowlinson, FRS, FREng (1926-2018)

Sir John Rowlinson, FRS, FREng (1926-2018)

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death last week of Sir John Rowlinson. Sir John was one of the true giants of Oxford Physical Chemistry where he served as Dr Lee's Professor from 1974-1993 following a lectureship at Manchester University and 10 years as Professor of Chemical Technology at Imperial College, London. An alumnus of Trinity College, Oxford, John was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1970 and knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours, 2000.
As well as over 200 research papers, John wrote extensively on a wide range of topics including several books on the history of science.
Quite apart from being one of the most distinguished scientists of his generation, Sir John Rowlinson was also a true gentleman and is remembered extremely fondly by all that knew him.
A memorial service for Sir John will be held later this year in Exeter College.
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Poster prize for Arron Deacy

Poster prize for Arron Deacy

Arron Deacy, 3rd year DPhil Student in the Williams group, won the Poster Prize at the International Coordination Chemistry Conference (ICCC) 2018 in Sendai, Japan. Coordination chemistry is a huge multidisciplinary research area involving large numbers of chemists, physicists, biologists and medicinal scientist. Researchers from all over the world attended the ICCC to discuss current topics and exchange knowledge through discussions, lectures and poster presentations. more........

Best emerging synthetic biology company award for OxSyBio

Best emerging synthetic biology company award for OxSyBio

OxSyBio, a spinout company based on the research of Prof. Hagan Bayley, has been named as a finalist in OBN's annual awards for best emerging synthetic biology company. OBN is the not-for-profit membership organisation supporting and bringing together the UK's life sciences companies, corporate partners and investors. The award nomination for the category of emerging synthetic biology company identifies those that have has the most promise, based on capital raised, level of innovation and their likely disruptive impact. OxSyBio is developing 3D printing techniques to produce a range of tissue-like and functional tissues for medical research and clinical applications, with the ultimate aim of producing tissues that can be used for precision medicine and organ repair or replacement. more........

Hot Article in Angew. Chemie Int. Ed.

Hot Article in Angew. Chemie Int. Ed.

Work of Dr Simantini Nayak in the Vincent group has been published as a 'Hot Article' in Angew. Chemie Int. Ed.. The paper, 'Adsorbed Intermediates in Oxygen Reduction on Platinum Nanoparticles Observed by In situ IR Spectroscopy', reports work from Simantini's Marie Curie Fellowship. more........

Atomic manipulation highlighted in Chemistry World

Atomic manipulation highlighted in Chemistry World

Results from a collaboration between Harry Anderson's group in Oxford and Leo Gross' group at IBM Zurich have shown that skeletal rearrangements can be controlled and visualised by scanning probe microscopy. The work was published in Nature Chemistry 2018, 10, 853 and highlighted in Chemistry World, 2018, 15, 8, 32. more........

Pioneer Award for Dr Nobina Mukherjee

Pioneer Award for Dr Nobina Mukherjee

Dr Nobina Mukherjee in the Bayley group has been granted a Pioneer Award from Cancer Research UK. Pioneer Awards fund "innovative, higher risk ideas, from any discipline, that could revolutionise our understanding of cancer" more........

Poster prize for Arun Shivalingam

Poster prize for Arun Shivalingam

Arun Shivalingam has won the ChemGenes-sponsored Poster Prize at the 14th RSC Nucleic Acids Forum held in London on the 6th of July. The forum aims to bring together researchers at interface of chemistry and biology with a particular focus on nucleic acids. Arun’s work describes the design and refinement of artificial nucleic acid backbones that can be formed by chemical ligation and allow faithful replication of the information encoded. more........

Mass spectrometry uncovers a novel lipid that mediates signalling between GPCRs and G-proteins

Mass spectrometry uncovers a novel lipid that mediates signalling between GPCRs and G-proteins

This week in Nature researchers from the Robinson group report the first transmission into the gas phase of intact complexes formed between GPCRs and G-proteins. Yen et al used mass spectrometry to reveal the presence of a novel lipid (PIP2) that stabilises interactions within these complexes. Supported by site directed mutagenesis and computation from Mark Sansom's group they located the lipid binding site on the intracellular leaflet and showed how it stabilised the interaction by bridging between the receptor and a particular G-α subunit. Overall therefore they have uncovered a new mechanism that enhances selective coupling of receptors, significant for understanding many aspects of diseases and important for drug discovery.

The illustration shows a G-protein coupled receptor (blue) in a membrane (grey) is 'stapled' to its cognate G protein (orange) via PIP2 lipids (green). This enhanced coupling in the presence of PIP2 was discovered by preserving these interactions by means of electrospray mass spectrometry. more........

TMCS annual symposium

TMCS annual symposium

The TMCS annual symposium took place this year on 4th and 5th July in Bristol. The 2 day programme was well attended by students, academics and Industrial partners and included student talks, guest speakers, poster sessions and an Industry led session on careers. more........

Transforming an idea into a viable technology

Transforming an idea into a viable technology

Hagan Bayley, Yi Cui and Jong-Hyun Han, authors of the Nature Nanotechnology papers most cited in the patent literature, are interviewed in the latest edition of the journal. The full article can be read online here: more........

Student talk prize for Hansjochen KÖckert

Student talk prize for Hansjochen KÖckert

Hansjochen KÖckert, DPhil student in the Vallance group, was awarded a prize at the recent Institute of Physics Atomic and Molecular Interactions Group summer meeting held at UCL. Hansjochen gave a talk about his research, entitled "One molecule, two pathways: Imaging of impulsive and statistical fragmentation after electron impact of CF3I". more........

Poster Prize for Jacqueline Tan

Poster Prize for Jacqueline Tan

Jacqueline Tan has won a Wiley "Computers in Chemistry" Poster Award sponsored by Wiley, at the 16th International Congress of Quantum Chemistry ICQC 2018 conference in Menton, France. The International Congress of Quantum Chemistry (ICQC) has been held every three years under the auspices of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (IAQMS) since 1973. more........

Poster prize for Sabine Weidlich

Poster prize for Sabine Weidlich

Sabine Weidlich, a DPhil student in Harry Anderson's research group has been awarded a poster prize at the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) 2018 Spring Meeting in Strasbourg, France. Her poster was titled "Encapsulated π-Systems with Luminescent Properties at Visible Wavelengths". more........

Susannah Worster awarded 1851 Fellowship

Susannah Worster awarded 1851 Fellowship

Susannah Worster has been awarded a 3-year Research Fellowship by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. The Fellowships are intended to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation. Around eight awards are made each year. Susannah will work on new design principles for efficient energy transfer in biomimetic light-harvesting devices, in association with Professor Fred Manby in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, starting in October 2018. more........

Roshan Singh wins 2018 Chemical Structural Association Trust Grant

Roshan Singh wins 2018 Chemical Structural Association Trust Grant

Roshan Singh, an MSc student in John McGrady's Group, has won the 2018 Chemical Structure Association (CSA) Trust Grant for young researchers. The grant program provides funding for the career development of young researchers who have demonstrated excellence in their education, research or development activities related to systems and methods used to store, process and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds. The grant will be used to conduct research within Dr Lundberg's Group at Uppsala University to investigate the chemical structure of heme Fe(IV)=O complexes in collaboration with Professor Solomon's Group at Stanford University. The CSA Trust is an internationally recognized organisation established to promote the critical importance of chemical information to advances in chemical research. more........

Xue Jiao Wins Prize For Best Poster At ESEAC 2018

Xue Jiao Wins Prize For Best Poster At ESEAC 2018

Xue Jiao ('Crystal') has won the Best Poster Prize at the European Society for Electro-analytical Chemistry (ESEAC) 2018 meeting held in Rodos, Greece between June 3rd and 7th. The prize is sponsored by the international journal Electroanalysis published by Wiley. Crystal's poster showed how nanoparticle porosity can influence their electro-catalytic properties using Platinum particles as an illustration. her work demonstrates unambiguously that the internal surfaces are electrochemically active. more........

Poster Prize for Chris Lindsay

Poster Prize for Chris Lindsay

Chris Lindsay, a BHF CRE funded DPhil student in Angela Russell's research group and Rebecca Sitsapesan's group (Pharmacology), has been awarded the poster prize at the British Pharmacological Society meeting in Edinburgh - Pharmacology Futures. The conference focused on exploring the technologies that will drive drug development over the next 10 to 15 years, with speakers sharing their visions of the future. Chris presented his work on using electrophysiology to elucidate the mechanism of statin side effects, towards the development of next generation HMG-CoA inhibitors. more........

Professor Edman Tsang's research featured on the cover of JACS

Professor Edman Tsang

A paper by Edman Tsang and colleagues at Harwell and Oxford is featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). The full paper, entitled 'Entrapped Single Tungstate Site in Zeolite for Cooperative Catalysis of Olefin Metathesis with Brønsted Acid Site' more........

Graphene nanoribbons with a trim of spin

Graphene nanoribbons with a trim of spin

Multi-frequency measurements of graphene nanoribbons in the Centre for Advanced ESR by Will Myers of the Department of Chemistry and Michael Slota of the Lapo Bogani group in the Department of Materials, in collaboration with Arzhang Ardavan of the Department of Physics and the Klaus Müllen group of MPI for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany are reported in Nature. A signal identified as the graphene edge state is unique to fully conjugated samples, and modulation depth exhibited in pump-probe ESR with spin injector groups indicates a potential for applications in spintronic devices. more........

Soft Matter Lectureship Award for Susan Perkin

Soft Matter Lectureship Award for Susan Perkin

Professor Susan Perkin has been selected by the Editorial Board of RSC Journal Soft Matter to receive the 2018 Lectureship award. This award honours a younger scientist who has made a significant contribution to soft matter research. As the recipient of the Lectureship, Susan will present a lecture of her choice and contribute a leading article to Soft Matter which will be featured on the journal's front cover. more........

Jack Hardwick wins RSC poster prize

Jack Hardwick wins RSC poster prize

Jack Hardwick, DPhil student in the Brown group, has won the poster competition at the RSC Chemical Biology Symposium in London. This annual symposium showcases state-of-the-art chemical biology and brings together experts in the field to stimulate research collaboration, networking and engagement. Jack's poster, entitled 'Structural studies of DNA containing 5-formylcytosine', highlights some of his research into how epigenetic cytosine modifications affect the structure of DNA. more........

Martine Abboud named 2018 CAS SciFinder® Future Leader

Martine Abboud named 2018 CAS SciFinder® Future Leader

Dr. Martine Abboud has been named a Future Leader by the American Chemical Society's CAS SciFinder® programme. Martine, a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College and a postdoctoral scientist in the Schofield group, is one of only 2 UK-based scientists to be selected for the programme. The CAS SciFinder® Future Leaders programme aims to expand professional networks among emerging researchers, increase knowledge and exchange ideas about the role of information within the research process, and learn from industry and academic leaders about the role of science in the global economy, academia, and the media. Abboud and the other Future Leaders will also visit centres of innovation and technology in Columbus to broaden their understanding of the scientific enterprise, and also contribute to shaping the future of scientific research by sharing their experiences. "CAS is privileged to connect the next generation of scientists with other leading researchers from across the globe and expand their professional research skills," said Chris McCue, vice president of marketing at CAS. "Program participants were chosen based on their impressive academic accomplishments and the scientific merit of their research. We are honoured to host the 2018 class and learn from their experience." The program has seen rapid growth and is now recognised as the premier programme of its kind. Celebrating its ninth year, CAS received the highest number of applications across the widest geographical range since its inception in 2010. Alumni from this program have been a part of noteworthy scientific innovations and research, and are influencing future scientists through their demonstrated leadership more........

British Science Association Media Fellowship for Holly Reeve

British Science Association Media Fellowship for Holly Reeve

Dr Holly Reeve, Project Manager and Co-Investigator of the Department of Chemistry's HydRegen project, has been awarded the MPLS British Science Association Media Fellowship.

This summer Holly will be working in a media outlet for a month, seeing how the media works from the inside and contributing her ideas before heading back to Oxford to share her experiences.

Holly said of the opportunity, "I applied to the BSA Media Fellowship scheme because it offers a unique and immersive experience to work in a top media team. I love a challenge, and this opportunity will definitely challenge me to develop a new communication style at a time when communication is becoming an increasingly important skill both in and outside of academia. In the future I hope to use what I learn on my placement to help Early Career Researchers tell their stories."

The Media Fellowships aim to give scientists, engineers and their colleagues the confidence and willingness to engage with the media and tackle issues of mistrust and misrepresentation and to give journalists access to new scientific expertise.

Every year up to ten Media Fellows are chosen through a competitive process. They are then mentored by professional journalists and learn how the media operates and reports on science, how to communicate with the media and how to engage the wider public with science through the media.

This year, MPLS funded one fellowship, offered to researchers working in EPSRC-related areas, aiming or provide a development opportunity for a researcher, as well as help improve awareness of and access to media.

This is the only programme of its type in the UK and the impacts arising for the fellows, their institution and the media are far ranging.

After the placement, Holly will attend the British Science Festival in September in the British Science Association's dedicated Press Centre, providing a further opportunity to meet and learn from a variety of media and engagement professionals.
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Funding success for very-high field solution-state NMR facility

Funding success for very-high field solution-state NMR facility

Group leaders in the Departments of Biochemistry (Profs Christina Redfield, Jason Schnell and John Vakonakis) and Chemistry (Profs. Andy Baldwin and Tim Claridge) have secured support towards upgrading the flagship 950 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, housed in Biochemistry. Funding of close to £500K has been obtained from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the "Very- and Ultra-High field NMR for the physical and life sciences" initiative. The 950 MHz NMR upgrade will include a high-sensitivity 5mm TCI "CryoProbe" and an automated sample changer. This new probe will increase 1H signal-to-noise by a factor of up to 3, allowing more challenging macromolecular systems to be studied. The sample changer will improve throughput by enabling fully automated, round-the-clock data collection. Once upgraded, time on the 950 MHz NMR spectrometer will also be made available to external users from other UK academic institutions and from industry.

The 22.3T Oxford Instruments magnet, which, alongside a custom-built electronics control console and probe, formed the basis for the first 950 MHz spectrometer in the world, was installed in the Rex Richards Building, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in October 2005. This was funded from the Wellcome Trust's contribution to the Joint Infrastructure Fund. The spectrometer console was upgraded in 2015/16 with internal funding of £340K secured from the Institutional Strategic Support Fund, the John Fell Fund and Edward Penley Abraham Cephalosporin Fund. The new funding from EPSRC ensures that Oxford will continue to have a state-of-the-art ultra-high field NMR spectrometer, with only two comparable instruments currently available in the UK.
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Gouverneur group research published in Science

Gouverneur group research published in Science

A research team led by Professor Veronique Gouverneur has developed a new bio-inspired catalytic manifold for enantioselective carbon-fluorine bond formation from alkali-metal fluoride. This is achieved by merging hydrogen bonding and phase transfer catalysis to make fluoride soluble, and therefore reactive, in organic solvents. The concept of "Hydrogen Bonding Phase Transfer Catalysis" (HB PTC) is of broad scientific interest as it could have application beyond delivery of fluoride. The design and synthetic work was carried out in the Gouverneur lab in collaboration with computational chemist Robert Paton. more........

Hot Paper and frontispiece - Chem. Eur. J.

Hot Paper and frontispiece - Chem. Eur. J.

The work of Leo Marx from the Burton group has been published as a "Hot Paper" in Chemistry A European Journal along with a frontispiece designed by Karl Harrison. Leo's work concerns the development of a short, scalable synthesis of the potent proteasome inhibitor and marine natural product salinosporamide A. more........

Frontiers of Chemical Dynamics: A Royal Society meeting in honour of Sir David Clary's 65th birthday

Frontiers of Chemical Dynamics: A Royal Society meeting in honour of Sir David Clary

April 19 / 20 saw a Royal Society Theo Murphy Meeting held at Chicheley Hall in honour of Sir David Clary's 65th birthday in January 2018. Organised by David Manolopoulos, Stuart Mackenzie and Claire Vallance, a stellar list of international speakers was assembled. It is a testament to Sir David's standing in the field that every speaker invited agreed to attend. more........

On the Cover of RSC ChemComm

On the Cover of RSC ChemComm

Collaborative research within the SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence carried out by the O'Hare group, Prof. Greenwell and Dr Erastova (Durham University), SCG Chemicals and SCG Packaging has featured on the Inside front cover of ChemComm. The paper describes the synthesis, characterisation and molecular dynamics simulation of new nanomaterials more........

Part II Lewis Morgan wins prize for BCA conference talk

Part II Lewis Morgan wins prize for BCA conference talk

Lewis Morgan's presentation "Improving Our Understanding of Modulation in Molecular Materials" won the prize for the best oral contribution at the Young Crystallographers Satellite to the British Crystallographic Association Spring Meeting. The award, supplied by the Industrial Group and administered by the Young Crystallographers Group, included the opportunity to give the talk again, this time as a plenary in the main meeting. more........

Turning aluminium chemistry on its head

Turning aluminium chemistry on its head

Collaborative research between the Aldridge and Goicoechea groups carried out by Jamie Hicks and Petra Vasko, and published recently in Nature, has led to the development of nucleophilic aluminium compounds that can be employed in reverse polarity Al-E bond forming chemistry more........

Rising Star of the Year Award

Rising Star of the Year Award

Jacob Bush of GSK has been named Rising Star of the Year at this year’s TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards. The rising star award recognises the contribution made by a recent graduate. After his undergraduate degree at Oxford, Jacob stayed on to do a doctorate with Prof. Chris Schofield before joining GSK, where he helped to launch a new doctoral programme for chemical biology students between GSK, Oxford and the Francis Crick Institute. more........

Poster Prize at the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Dalton Poster Competition.

Poster Prize at the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Dalton Poster Competition.

Anastasia Spearing-Ewyn and Thomas Williams, DPhil students in the Weller and O'Hare group respectively, have each been awarded a runner-up Poster Prize at the Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Dalton Poster Competition. This took place during the Dalton 2018 Joint Interest Groups Meeting at Warwick more........

Michael Booth to receive 2019 Biochemical Society Award

Michael Booth to receive 2019 Biochemical Society Award

Dr Michael Booth, researcher in the Bayley Group, is to receive an Early Career Research Award from the Biochemical Society. These awards recognise the impact of research carried out by early career scientists who have produced international quality research and demonstrated their potential to achieve world-leading status. Michael’s award is in recognition of his outstanding work in the area of Biotechnology. This includes developing novel DNA sequencing techniques for the detection of two newly discovered modified DNA bases. These newly discovered modified bases had been implicated in human development and disease progression; however, there were no sequencing techniques to precisely map them in the genome to uncover their functional relevance. The award also recognised his synthesis of light-activated DNA and its use to stringently control protein expression in synthetic tissues. These synthetic tissues act as functional mimics of neuronal transmission that can be controlled in a precise way. Michael will receive a prize of £1000 and will give an Award Lecture at a Biochemical Society meeting during 2019. more........

‘The Burton Boys’ win 1st Prize at the 5th RSC/SCI Retrosynthesis Competition

‘The Burton Boys’ win 1st Prize at the 5th RSC/SCI Retrosynthesis Competition

Sam Chan (Croucher Scholar), Kilian Garrec (SBM CDT) and Joe Mason (SBM CDT) won the 1st prize at the final of the 5th National Retrosynthesis Competition, celebrated at the Burlington House (London) on Friday 16th March. Following an initial round planning a retrosynthesis of Annotinolide C, ten teams were selected to enter the final – including another team from Oxford Chemistry. These three final year students from the Burton group delivered a very polished presentation on their proposed route to Pestaloficin A, winning both the 1st prize from the judges and the audience prize. Many congratulations Burton Boys! more........

On the cover of J Chem Phys

On the cover of J Chem Phys

A collaboration between the Brouard and Vallance groups and the University of Aarhus has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Chemical Physics. The paper describes how gas-phase structural isomers can be identified and distinguished by the process of Coulomb explosion imaging, and indicates that this method could be applied to a much broader class of molecules than has previously been studied. This research was made possible by the use of a fast ion imaging sensor, the Pixel Imaging Mass Spectrometry camera, that was developed by Oxford Chemistry, Oxford Physics, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. more........

Syngenta Postdoc Symposium

Syngenta Postdoc Symposium

Six postdocs from Oxford Chemistry, with interests across organic chemistry and chemical biology, took part in the 4th Syngenta Postdoc Symposium. After an afternoon of exciting science, Dr James Morris from Syngenta presented prizes to Dr Charlie Fehl (Davis group), for his talk on In situ boronate activation for metallaphotoredox-initiated protein functionalization, and Dr Lan-Gui Xie (Dixon group), for his talk on Iridium-catalysed reductive functionalisation of tertiary amides. The other participants were Drs Michel Rickhaus (HLA group), Venkaiah Chintalapudi (EAA group), Tom McAllister (AK group), and Manjeet Kumar (JWB group) more........

Editorial Appointments in Oxford

Editorial Appointments in Oxford

Prof Angela Russell has recently been appointed as an editor for the journal Tetrahedron and Prof Tim Donohoe has just been appointed as Chairman of the Executive Board of Editors for Tetrahedron Publications. Tetrahedron is the international journal for the rapid publication of full original research papers and critical reviews in organic chemistry. more........

Charlotte Williams awarded 2018 Otto Roelen Medal

Charlotte Williams awarded 2018 Otto Roelen Medal

Charlotte Williams is the recipient of the Otto Roelen Medal for 2018. It is awarded by DECHEMA and the German Catalysis society every two years for outstanding scientific work in the field of catalysis, the award is sponsored by OXEA GmbH. She was awarded the Medal at the 51st German Catalysis Meeting, held in Weimar from 14-16 March. more........

Oxford Nanopore value reaches 1.5 Billion

Oxford Nanopore value reaches 1.5 Billion

Oxford Nanopore, the spin-out company founded by Professor Hagan Bayley and supported by IP Group PLC has raised £100M in new investment. The funds will support a new manufacturing facility, commercial expansion, and development of new innovative products. Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO, Oxford Nanopore, said: ‘Our business is moving quickly, from personal sequencers into high-end sequencing and distributed analyses. In recent weeks, both Oxford Nanopore and our customers have shown very high yields of data from PromethION Flow Cells, demonstrating low-cost long-read nanopore sequencing at large scale. Meanwhile, we are driving a change in how scientists and industries access DNA information, by introducing smaller, accessible, low-cost formats, including our forthcoming smartphone sequencer SmidgION. Our investors are ambitious and support our long-term vision: to enable the analysis of any living thing, by anyone, anywhere. ‘We would also like to thank the innovative community of nanopore users, who have been instrumental in driving new uses for our products.’Prime Minister Theresa May said: ‘I’m pleased that such a pioneering British business has obtained the investment they need to grow, creating thousands more jobs and continuing ground-breaking research in this field here in the UK. ‘Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are making sure that Britain remains the natural choice for innovative firms to prosper – investing in the future of our country.’ more........

Bolte Award for Professor Graham Richards

Bolte Award for Professor Graham Richards

Professor Graham Richards is to receive the 2018 Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award. The award, sponsored by the Science History Institute in the US, was created in 2006 to recognise the outstanding contributions of leaders who provide products or services vital to the continuing growth and development of the chemical and molecular sciences community. It will be presented on 9th May, the Institute's annual Heritage Day that celebrates the achievements and promise of the sciences and technologies that shape material culture. Graham is Chairman of Oxford Drug Design and served as Oxford's first Chairman of Chemistry from 1996 to 2006. He pioneered the use of computer-aided molecular design and organised the Screensaver Lifesaver Project —the largest ever computational chemistry project that made use of idle time on over 3.5 million personal computers to screen billions of compounds in the search for drugs to treat cancer and protect against anthrax and smallpox. He cofounded Oxford University Innovation, which has generated over £2 billion for the University and helped to create many successful technology companies. more........

Science Policy Discussions in Parliament

Science Policy Discussions in Parliament

Dr Michael Booth, researcher in the Bayley Group, represented the Royal Society of Chemistry at the Voice of the Future event in Parliament on 13th March. Organised by the Royal Society of Biology on behalf of the science and engineering community, this ‘question time’ style annual event reverses the format of a normal select committee – so that MPs answer questions rather than ask them. Michael recorded the highlights from all four sessions. The main emphasis of the questions revolved around the impact of Brexit on the sciences, increasing diversity in STEM subjects, and the impact of ‘fake news’. A recording of the event can be watched on Parliament TV. more........

OxSyBio raises £10m

OxSyBio raises £10m

As reported in The Times, Chemistry spinout OxSyBio has raised £10m in investments. The research behind OxSyBio comes from the group of Oxford Nanopore founder Professor Hagen Bayley whose work explores chemical and synthetic biology. OxSyBio is developing 3D printing techniques with the aim of producing tissues that can be used for precision medicine and organ repair or replacement. more........

RSC's Chemical Science Cover Artwork

RSC

An Edge Article by Robert Paton research group has been highlighted on the cover of the this month's Chemical Science RSC Journal. The paper describes the theory and data mining of cation-pi interactions in protein-ligand binging and reveal different roles for lysine and arginine. The artwork was designed by Karl Harrison. more........

Levi Dash Retires

Levi Dash Retires

A reception in honour of Levi Dash was held on Monday 26th February. Levi retired this week after 39 years in the Department, having worked in Stores in the DP, ICL and PTCL. In the course of his long career Levi helped countless staff and students, always with great kindness and good humour. Prof. Chris Schofield, Head of Organic Chemistry, gave thanks. Levi will be much missed, and we wish him well! more........