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RSC Chemical Science Hot PaperRSC Chemical Science Hot Paper

Research from the Weller group published in Chemical Science, by PDRAs Antonio Martinez-Martinez and Alasdair Mckay, that reports the development of Solid state Molecular Organometallic Catalysts (SMOM–Cat), sponsored in part by SCG Chemicals, has been chosen as a “hot” paper for July.

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A New Way to 3D-Print Living TissueA New Way to 3D-Print Living Tissue

Research led by Bayley group in collaboration with scientists at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and the University of Bristol shows promise for a new approach to regenerative medicine. The researchers have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory-grown cells to form living structures. It is hoped that, with further development, the materials could have a wide impact on healthcare worldwide.

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Poster Prize for Aini VuorinenPoster Prize for Aini Vuorinen

Aini Vuorinen, a Muscular Dystrophy UK-funded DPhil student in Angela Russell’s group, has been awarded a poster prize at 11th European Summer School - Advanced Proteomics in Bressanone, Italy (30th July to 5th August). The international workshop provided a comprehensive insight into proteomic technologies and applications in the life sciences. Aini presented aspects of her work using chemoproteomics to elucidate the molecular mechanism of action of small molecule modulators of utrophin for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Therapy.

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Poster Prize for Annie ColebatchPoster Prize for Annie Colebatch

Congratulations to Dr Annie Colebatch from the Weller group for receiving a poster prize at the European Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Amsterdam (July 2017) on her work entitled “Rhodium Catalysed Dehydropolymerisation of Amine-boranes. The European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) 22nd Conference on Organometallic Chemistry (EuCOMC XXI) is hosted under the auspices of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS).

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Poster Prize for Renee HaverPoster Prize for Renee Haver

Congratulations to Renee for winning a prize for her poster at the International Symposium on Novel Aromatic Compounds (ISNA) in Stony Brook, New York, USA. Renee is a D.Phil. student in Harry Anderson’s group. The conference offered an international forum to present and discuss new findings and exchange ideas on advanced synthesis, structure-property relationship, and applications of novel aromatic compounds.

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President-Elect of the Royal Society of ChemistryPresident-Elect of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Professor Dame Carol Robinson is President-Elect of the RSC for 2017-18. Carol’s work on mass spectrometry has attracted national and international recognition and she is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society, the Davy Medal and the Rosalind Franklin Award from the Royal Society. In 2013 Carol was made a DBE in recognition of her contributions to science and industry.

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1st TMCS symposium1st TMCS symposium

TMCS held their first annual symposium on 20-21st July in Oxford, delegates included students from all 3 cohorts, as well as industrial partners, advisory board members, academics and supervisors. The two days included presentations from cohort 1, guest talks, a poster session from the students, outreach presentations and demonstrations from cohort 1 and 2 and careers discussions.

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PRL Editors’ SuggestionPRL Editors’ Suggestion

Research from the Perkin group, reporting experiments and a scaling theory of screening in concentrated electrolytes, is highlighted as the Editors’ Suggestion in Physical Review Letters this week. The article was accompanied by an illustration designed by Karl Harrison.

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Poster Prize: Gemma TrottPoster Prize: Gemma Trott

Gemma Trott, a DPhil student in Charlotte Williams’ group, has been awarded a poster prize at the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC) in conjunction with ISACS: Challenges in Organic Materials & Supramolecular Chemistry (Cambridge, 2-6 July 2017). Her poster, titled ‘Synergy using Zinc and Magnesium: Heterodinuclear polymerisation catalysts showing enhanced performances’, presented recent work on the development of a series of heterodinuclear catalysts which show superior activity towards the copolymerisation of carbon dioxide and epoxides.

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Oral presentation prize: Ben CloughOral presentation prize: Ben Clough

Congratulations to Dr Ben Clough (PDRA, Mountford group) for receiving an oral presentation prize and certificate at the recent RSC 3rd Southern Dalton Meeting in London for his lecture entitled “Synthesis and small molecule activation by the first Group 3-boryimido complex”.

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2017 BTM Willis Prize2017 BTM Willis Prize

This week saw the prestigious BTM Willis prize for outstanding neutron scattering science awarded to Dr Andrew Seel, from the University of Oxford and UCL. The prize is jointly awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics Neutron Scattering Groups to an early career researcher addressing a significant problem in physical, life or engineering science, or in recognition of a major development in a neutron scattering technique. Dr Seel is recognised in both these categories – he was instrumental in the further development and expansion of mass-resolved neutron spectroscopy in the chemical sciences, and he has used a wide range of neutron techniques to study a group of functional materials known as metal-amine solutions.

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2017 Biopharma Innovation Cup2017 Biopharma Innovation Cup

Two Oxford Alumni, Anna Rydzik (Schofield's group) and Wilian Cortopassi (Paton's group), got second prize (€ 5,000) in the 2017 Biopharma Innovation Cup organised by Merck KGaA, in Darmstadt, Germany. They were selected over more than 1400 applications for the Medicinal Chemistry team and worked together on an innovative idea on DNA-encoded libraries

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Poster Prize: Tim StößerPoster Prize: Tim Stößer

Tim Stößer, a DPhil student in Charlotte Williams’ group, has been awarded a prize for this poster “Selective Synthesis of Block Copolyesters from Mixed Monomer Feedstocks” at the Macro Group YRM 2017 meeting held in Edinburgh on 19/20th June. His poster describes the one-pot combination of two polymerisation mechanisms (ring-opening polymerisation and ring-opening copolymerisation) with a commercially available Salen catalyst.

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Oxford Drug Design secures £1.5M financing Oxford Drug Design secures £1.5M financing

Oxford Drug Design Ltd (previously known as InhibOx), the leading computer aided drug design and 3D chemical database company, is pleased to announce that it has completed a £1.5 million fundraise to enable it to progress a novel antibacterial programme and continue to build its proprietary platform. The funding, which will also help finance the company’s commercial and research and development (R&D) activities, was supported by both existing shareholders including IP Group plc as well as new investors including Busolantix Investment SA, O2h Ventures and a number of Business Angels. The round is tranched, subject to the achievement of certain milestones. Oxford Drug Design will continue to build and utilise its proprietary technology platform in cheminformatics, 3D molecular similarity and computer-aided drug design, in parallel with progressing the antibacterial programme.

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2017 Prix Paul Ehrlich of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique 2017 Prix Paul Ehrlich of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique

Professor Ben Davis has been awarded the 2017 Prix Paul Ehrlich of the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (SCT). The prize, for outstanding contributions to medicinal chemistry, is awarded annually at the International Meeting of Therapeutic Chemistry (RICT). The award of 3500 Euros is funded by Janssen Research and Development, a division of Jansen-Cilag S.A., and the winner is invited to give a 45 minute plenary lecture at the SCT international meeting which will be held this year in Toulouse, 5-7 July.

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Prof. Melanie Sanford presents 2017 Andy Derome lecturesProf. Melanie Sanford presents 2017 Andy Derome lectures

The Department was delighted to host Prof. Melanie Sanford, the Moses Gomberg Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, to present the 2017 Andy Derome lectures. Prof. Sanford presented two fantastic seminars on her recent work on C-H functionalisation and also development and applications of new fluorination reactions.

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OxStem Ltd featured in NatureOxStem Ltd featured in Nature

OxStem Ltd, a University of Oxford spin-out company co-founded by Professor Steve Davies and Prof. Angela Russell, is featured in the May 2017 issue of Nature in an article entitled “Masters of Medicine”. OxStem was selected as one of six innovative and disruptive University start-up biotechnology companies from around the world to be profiled in the article.

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Prof. John F. Hartwig presents 2017 Robert Robinson lecturesProf. John F. Hartwig presents 2017 Robert Robinson lectures

It was an honour to host Prof. John F. Hartwig, who holds the Henry Rapoport Chair in Organic Chemistry at University of California Berkeley, in the Department this week. Prof. Hartwig presented the 2017 Robert Robinson lectures to packed audiences in the Inorganic Chemistry lecture theatre, the first on an established programme of work in his group on site-selective C-H bond functionalisation reactions, and the second on emerging research merging organometallic and enzymatic catalysis.

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Oxford Chemistry Tops the League TablesOxford Chemistry Tops the League Tables

The Department’s MChem course has come top of the Chemistry list in the Guardian University Guide. The guide allocates scores out of 100 for a number of factors, including staff-student ratios, teaching quality and student satisfaction. Oxford scored highly in all categories, particularly for course satisfaction and career prospects. Taking all factors into account, Oxford’s excellence rating was 100, the highest score of any UK Chemistry department.

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Highlighted on Nanowerk.comHighlighted on Nanowerk.com

The direct measurement of the surface energy of pristine graphene has been published in Nanoletters and has been listed on the front-page of Nanowerk. These measurements are a result of very close collaboration between Prof Perkin’s and Prof Grobert's 'Nanomaterials by Design' Team over many years and many years of fine tuning large-area graphene synthesis and transfer in conjunction with an in-depth understanding and fundamental development of the surface-force-balance technique. The work has been made possible largely through ERC funding. The findings are an important part of Christian’s PhD work. In his PhD, Christian has been taking early work of Dr Jude Britton (Oxford Materials DPhil) and Dr Nico Cousens (Oxford Chemistry PDRA) to the next level and by doing so we have been able to pave the way for a wide range of new opportunities for both the fundamental and applied sciences with this technique.

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Nature Structural & Molecular Biology PaperNature Structural & Molecular Biology Paper

Research from Tom Brown’s group sheds new light on the mechanism by which the modified DNA base 5-formylcytosine is recognised by epigenetic reader and writer proteins. Work from DPhil student Jack Hardwick, Afaf El-Sagheer and collaborators at Harwell and the University of Kentucky has challenged previous findings that 5-formylcytosine gives rise to a unique conformation of the DNA double helix. Their results instead point towards a recognition mechanism that operates at base-pair resolution.

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Poster Prize: Jonathan MannouchPoster Prize: Jonathan Mannouch

Jonathan Mannouch, a member of Cohort 1, won a prize for his poster presentation: "Exciton Relaxation Dynamics in TT-Conjugated Polymer Systems" at the annual graduate student meeting of the RSC Theoretical Chemistry Group, which was held on 10th May 2017, in Southampton.

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Oxford Sparks Animation for ChemistryOxford Sparks Animation for Chemistry

Working with Holly Reeve and Kylie Vincent, Oxford Sparks have created a new Youtube video titled "What can Chemists learn from nature?". The animation highlights that nature is full of chemicals – flavours, fragrances, medicines. Living systems have been making these useful chemicals for billions of years, but usually only tiny quantities, because that’s all they need! In this animation we find out how chemists are learning from nature to create these chemicals in much larger quantities, to satisfy our industrial needs.

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RSC 2017 Dalton Emerging ResearcherRSC 2017 Dalton Emerging Researcher

Dr Alexander Hinz, currently a post-doc in the group of Professor Jose Goicoechea, was selected as the 2017 RSC Dalton Emerging Researcher for contributions to low-valent main group chemistry, specifically in the fields of p-block biradicaloids and multiply-bonded compounds of the group 15 elements.

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RSC 2017 Corday-Morgan Prize RSC 2017 Corday-Morgan Prize

Professor Andrew Goodwin is the RSC Corday-Morgan Prize winner for 2017. This is awarded for the most meritorious contributions to chemistry. Professor Goodwin’s work focuses on a range of useful materials, including artificial muscles, pharmaceuticals, new types of magnets, and solids that can convert waste heat into electricity. On receiving the prize, he said: “I am at once both thrilled and humbled to receive such a prestigious award from the RSC.”

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Congratulations Carol Robinson!Congratulations Carol Robinson!

Dr Lee’s Professor of Physical Chemistry, Dame Professor Carol Robinson has been elected as a Foreign Associate (Member) of the National Academy of Sciences. This is a tremendous honour recognising the outstanding scientific contributions made by Carol, her group and co-workers.

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2017 Malcolm Green Lecture; Jean-Pierre Sauvage2017 Malcolm Green Lecture; Jean-Pierre Sauvage

Jean-Pierre Sauvage (University of Strasbourg) delivered the 2017 Malcolm Green Lecture on Friday the 21st of April in the ICL lecture theatre. His lecture, “From Chemical Topology to Molecular Machines”, highlighted his seminal contributions to the design and synthesis of molecular machines for which he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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On the Cover of Nature ChemistryOn the Cover of Nature Chemistry

Research developed by a team led by Hagan Bayley and Dek Woolfson (University of Bristol) has been featured on the cover of Nature Chemistry. The cover image shows a synthetic transmembrane pore — formed by the self-assembly of alpha-helical peptides. Cell membranes are a crucial component of biological systems and they fulfil a variety of essential roles, including the compartmentalization of chemical reactions as well as enabling the formation of concentration gradients. Molecules and ions, acting as chemical signals, must be transported across cell membranes to mediate a range of cellular functions. The cover article and others in the May issue of the journal discuss artificial methods for transporting chemical information across lipid bilayers.

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BCA Poster Prizes for Laura and JamesBCA Poster Prizes for Laura and James

Congratulations to Part II students Laura Fenwick and James Walker who both won poster prizes awarded by the Chemical Crystallography Group of the British Crystallographic Association at the Annual Spring Meeting in Lancaster. Laura’s poster “Measuring and controlling dissolution rates of pharmaceutical materials by co-crystal formation” reported dissolution rate studies of tablets of pure paracetamol and co-crystalline forms, and shows a significant increase in dissolution rate of the active ingredient for certain formulations. James’ poster “Co-crystal or salt? Studying partial proton transfer in a series of molecular materials” reported several crystalline materials which exhibit transfer of a single proton between a significant fraction of the molecular pairs, resulting in a crystal on the borderline between co-crystal and salt.

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Oxford student creates a synthetic retina Oxford student creates a synthetic retina

Soft materials and proteins hold out hope for retinal disease. Vanessa Restrepo-Schild DPhil in the Bayley group has created a synthetic retina that can detect grey-scale images and moving objects. The tissues are made of a 4x4 gel-array with artificial cells that have a special kind of proteins capable of detecting light. The ground-breaking invention of the “synthetic retina” is published in the journal Scientific Reports

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