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2014 Reaxys PhD Prize2014 Reaxys PhD Prize

Lydia Gilday, who undertook her DPhil with Paul Beer, has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Reaxys PhD prize. As one of the finalists, she will present her research at the Reaxys Inspiring Chemistry Conference held in Grindelwald, Switerland in September, where the three winners will be announced.

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BBC Radio 4 interviews Carol Robinson BBC Radio 4 interviews Carol Robinson

The BBC Radio 4 programme "The Life Scientific" has a 30 minute radio show about the career of Professor Dame Carol Robinson. Carol Robinson describes her remarkable journey from leaving school at 16 to work as a lab technician at Pfizer, to becoming the first female Professor of Chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge University, despite an eight year career break to bring up three small children. Listen to the show on BBC iPlayer.

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ROX Structures published in NatureROX Structures published in Nature

Work led by Rashed Chowdhury from the Schofield group has recently led to the solution of multiple structures of ribosomal oxygenses (ROX) including in complex with their substrates as recently reported in Nature (2014, 510, 422-6). The structures reveal that new protein hydroxylation activities can evolve by changing the coordination position from which the iron-bound substrate-oxidizing species reacts and will be useful in the development of selective inhibition of the ROX, some of which are involved in the regulation of translation.

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VIP article in Angewandte ChemieVIP article in Angewandte Chemie

A research paper from the Hayward Group, and collaborators in the Oxford Physics Department, has been published as a VIP article in Angewandte Chemie. The paper details the synthesis and characterisation of a new family of vanadium oxide-hydride phases – the first stoichiometric, anion-ordered, transition metal oxide-hydride phases ever reported. These new phases contain sheets or chains of apex-linked V3+O4 squares stacked with SrH layers/chains, such that the n=∞ member, SrVO2H, can be considered to be analogous to "infinite-layer" phases, such as Sr1-xCaxCuO2 (the parent phase of the high-Tccuprate superconductors), but with a d2 electron count. All three oxide–hydride phases exhibit strong antiferromagnetic coupling, with SrVO2H exhibiting an antiferromagnetic ordering temperature, TN>300 K. The strong antiferromagnetic couplings are surprising given they appear to arise from Π-type magnetic exchange.

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First PRize RSC Fluorine Group MeetingFirst PRize RSC Fluorine Group Meeting

Lukas Pfeifer, a second year student in the Gouverneur group won first prize for a student lecture at the recent RSC Fluorine Group Meeting that took place in St Andrews (http://chemistry.st-andrews.ac.uk/fluorine/Programme.html). Lukas presented a new catalytic method for the hydrofluorination of styrene. This work was recently published in Angewandte with Dr Enrico Emer and Dr J. M. Brown FRS.

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SCI ScholarshipSCI Scholarship

Tanatorn Khotavivattana, a first year D Phil student in the Gouverneur group won an SCI scholarship to study the radiolabelling of functional groups to produce traceable isotopes for use in PET scanning. The SCI Scholars fund established in 1920 was endowed by the bequests of Rudolph Messel and John Gray, former presidents and founding members of SCI. SCI Scholarships are prestigious and competitive awards, well-respected by industry professionals and academics.

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Best poster awardBest poster award

Andrew Jupp, a 2nd year D.Phil. student working with Jose Goicoechea, won a poster prize at the 20th International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry (ICPC 2014) in Dublin, Ireland. Andy’s poster, which focused on the chemistry of the 2-phosphaethynolate anion, was one of the six posters that received a €100 award sponsored by Springer.

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On the cover of Inorganic Chemistry FrontOn the cover of Inorganic Chemistry Front

Research by Vaida Arcisauskaite, Daniel DeBrincat and Tingting Weng in the McGrady group has been highlighted on the cover of Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers. The article identifies the electronic features of extended metal atom chains (EMACs) that lead to effective molecular rectification (the preferential flow of current in one direction). The cover was designed by Karl Harrison.

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2014 MGMS Silver-Jubilee Prize2014 MGMS Silver-Jubilee Prize

The 2014 MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize has been awarded to Dr Robert Paton. This award is made by the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Soceity to outstanding researchers in the field of molecular modelling, and recognises Rob's outstanding contributions towards the computational modelling of structure, reactivity and selectivity in organic and bioorganic chemistry.

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Honorary degree for Professor Jean-Marie LehnHonorary degree for Professor Jean-Marie Lehn

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987 for his pioneering studies on the chemical basis of molecular recognition, received the Degree of Doctor of Science. He was one of the founders of the field of supramolecular chemistry and also visited the Department of Chemistry and gave a talk entitled "Perspectives in Chemistry: From Supramolecular Chemistry towards Adaptive Chemistry".

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First Prize for Student LectureFirst Prize for Student Lecture

Emma Stuart, a 3rd year D.Phil. student in the Compton Group, jointly won first prize for a student lecture at the recent 10th ECHEMS international conference on 'Electrochemistry in Molecular Understanding'. Emma's talk was entitled 'Gold electrodes from recordable CDs for the sensitive, semi-quantitative detection of commerical silver nanoparticles in seawater media'. Emma is photographed at Bath, Somerset with the conference organiser Professor Frank Marken at the Roman Baths where the conference dinner was held.

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JACS Paper highlighted as an Editor's Choice paperJACS Paper highlighted as an Editor's Choice paper

A research paper by Professor Bill David and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwel has been picked as an open access ACS editor's choice article. The research covers new discovery which offers a viable solution to the challenges of storage and cost by using ammonia as a clean and secure hydrogen-containing energy source to produce hydrogen on-demand in situ. Professor Bill David, who led the STFC research team at the ISIS Neutron Source, said "Our approach is as effective as the best current catalysts but the active material, sodium amide, costs pennies to produce. We can produce hydrogen from ammonia - on demand - effectively and affordably."

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On the cover of JOCOn the cover of JOC

A review by John Brown, together with Spanish and Irish colleagues who were involved in the original discovery and applications of Quinap back in the old Dyson Perrins Laboratory, has been highlighted on the cover of this month's Journal of Organic Chemistry. The cover paper describes developments in the synthesis and application of atropisomeric PN ligands. These ligands have contributed to distinct areas of asymmetric catalysis, among them hydroboration, diboration, 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, and alkynylation. The cover was designed by Karl Harrison.

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Nanoscale MOF defect structures reported in Nature CommunicationsNanoscale MOF defect structures reported in Nature Communications

The discovery by DPhil student Matthew Cliffe (Goodwin Group) that a hafnium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) can support correlated nanoscale defect structures has been published today by Nature Communications. Matt's work - which was carried out in collaboration with the I15 team at Diamond and collaborators in Sweden and Paris - has implications in the development of new classes of functional materials based on MOF chemistry.

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2014 Reaxys PhD Prize2014 Reaxys PhD Prize

Fabio Denis Romero who recently graduated from the Hayward group has been selected as one of 45 finalists for the 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize. As one of the finalists he will be giving a presentation the Reaxys Inspiring Chemistry Conference being held in Grindelwald, Switzerland, where the 3 winners will be announced.

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Becquerel Medal 2014 for Professor Jon DilworthBecquerel Medal 2014 for Professor Jon Dilworth

Professor Professor Jon Dilworth has been awarded the Becquerel Medal 2014 by the Radiochemistry Group of the RSC for ‘his contributions to the fields of PET and SPECT imaging over a 40 year distinguished academic career’. The award requires the presentation of a lecture which will be given at the RSC meeting in York in September.

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On the cover of the Journal of Chemical PhysicsOn the cover of the Journal of Chemical Physics

Research by the Doye group in collaboration with the Louis group in Physics has featured on the cover of the Journal of Chemical Physics. The article introduces a new coarse-grained model of RNA that enables the efficient simulation of large RNA systems, such as the illustrated hexameric RNA nanoring.

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Best Poster AwardBest Poster Award

Ricardo Hidalgo, DPhil student in the Vincent group, won Best Poster Award at a conference on ‘Interface between experimental and theoretical approaches to energy-related enzyme catalysis’ at University College London: 4-6th June 2014.

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HOT Article in Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryHOT Article in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

A perspective by Steve Davies, Ai Fletcher and Jim Thomson has been highlighted as a HOT article by OBC. The paper compares the diastereoselective epoxidation of acyclic and cyclic allylic alcohols, with the chemo- and diastereoselective olefinic oxidation of a range of acyclic and cyclic allylic amines, and a discussion about the origin of this high diastereocontrol is presented.

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Highlighted on Journal of Experimental Medicine Highlighted on Journal of Experimental Medicine

A research paper by the Professor O'Hare group has been highlighted in the editorial of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The paper shows that the immunological responses induced by members of a broad class of inorganic crystalline materials are controlled purely by their physicochemical properties in a highly predictable manner. The structurally and chemically homogeneous layered double hydroxides (LDHs) can elicit diverse human dendritic cell responses in vitro. Using a systems vaccinology approach, the work finds that every measured response can be modeled using a subset of just three physical and chemical properties for all compounds tested. This correlation can be reduced to a simple linear equation that enables the immunological responses stimulated by newly synthesised LDHs to be predicted in advance from these three parameters alone. Also shown is that mouse antigen–specific antibody responses in vivo and human macrophage responses in vitro are controlled by the same properties, suggesting they may control diverse responses at both individual component and global levels of immunity. The study demonstrates that immunity can be determined purely by chemistry and opens the possibility of rational manipulation of immunity for therapeutic purposes.

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On the Cover of NatureOn the Cover of Nature

Professor Dame Carol Robinson research article has been highlighted on the cover of Nature. The cover illustrates IM-MS as it captures a native membrane protein complex emerging from an ion mobility cell. Shown is the ammonia channel in apo, one- and two-lipid bound states. The cover was designed by Art Laganowsky.

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Oxford Mail Highlights ExhibitionOxford Mail Highlights Exhibition

The Oxford Mail has highlighted that the department is running the exhibition throughout June to celebrate the United Nation’s International Year of Crystallography. The exhibition shows visitors crystals at the atomic level, and how they are used in dyes, medicines, minerals and sugar.

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2014 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year2014 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year

Tom Brown is The 2014 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year. He is founder of three successful companies on the chemistry/biology interface (Oswel, Primer Design and ATDBio) and is co-inventor of a number of DNA-based techniques for genetic and forensic analysis.

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OUSU Teaching AwardsOUSU Teaching Awards

The excellent teaching of three members of the department - Fabrice Birembaut, Andrew Goodwin, and Martin Galpin - was highlighted at the annual Oxford University Student Union teaching awards ceremony Tuesday 27th May, in the presence of the Vice Chancellor. The three were nominated by students, and shortlisted for the awards from a very long list of nominations by OUSU. Congratulations to all three for this recognition of their valuable contribution to high quality Chemistry teaching.

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Oxford Mail highlights Chemistry's efforts towards the Green Impact schemeOxford Mail highlights Chemistry's efforts towards the Green Impact scheme

The Oxford Mail has an article about the Department's workplace environment. The opportunity arose because the university’s environmental sustainability team launched the National Union of Students (NUS) Green Impact scheme. This is an initiative designed to encourage departments to work towards delivering environmentally friendlier practices. The Green Impact scheme centres on a workbook of criteria which each department must aim to meet in order to obtain awards – starting with bronze, then progressing to silver and gold. (Photo Oxford Mail, Damian Halliwell)

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HOT Article in Organic & Biomolecular ChemistryHOT Article in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

Andreas Glawar [Fleet group] is the corresponding author in a collaborative project with the Glycobiology Institute in Oxford and the University Hospital in Toyama which describes the definitive evaluation of pyrrolidine analogues of N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine as inhibitors of N-acetylhexosaminidases this paper has been selected to be featured as a HOT article in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.

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GT Young 1915-2014 - Aldrichian PraelectorGT Young 1915-2014 - Aldrichian Praelector

We are sad to report that Geoffrey Young died at home in Oxford on 24 May 2014, aged 98. Geoffrey was a Fellow of Jesus 1947-1982 and Lecturer in Organic Chemistry 1950-1970 then Aldrichian Praelector in Chemistry 1970-1982. He was a pioneer in peptide chemistry. When funeral arrangements are known we will circulate them.

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NEW YORK TIMESNEW YORK TIMES

An article in the New York Times has highlighted recently published work from the Compton Group ( Int. J. Electrochem. Sci., 9 (2014) 1132 - 1138) which suggests an explanation for the toxicity of silver nanoparticles over that of bulk silver metal (Photo: Ferro Corp.)

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Carol Robinson’s work recognised by international awards:Carol Robinson’s work recognised by international awards:

Carol Robinson has been awarded the 2014 Kaj Linderstrøm-Lang Prize in recognition of her pioneering and outstanding research in the field of structural biology, with particular emphasis on protein complexes. The prize is awarded every three years to scientists with outstanding achievements within biochemistry or physiology, the fields of science in which Professor Kaj Linderstrøm Lang distinguished himself as a pioneer. The award ceremony takes place later this year. This year Carol will also receive the 2014 Thomson Medal Award from the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation. The Thomson Medal Award was established as an acknowledgement of exemplary contributions through outstanding research and distinguished service in mass spectrometry.

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On the Cover of NatureOn the Cover of Nature

A collaboration between Peter Hore and Henrik Mouritsen (University of Oldenburg) has been featured on the cover of Nature. The research covers the surprise observation that night-migratory songbirds (European robins) tested in wooden huts on the University of Oldenburg campus were unable to orient in the appropriate migratory direction using their magnetic compass. Mouritsen and colleagues performed controlled experiments to establish what was happening. They found that robins lose the ability to use the Earth's magnetic field when exposed to low-level AM electromagnetic noise between around 20 kHz and 20 MHz, the kind of noise routinely generated by consumer electrical and electronic equipment. Interestingly, the magnetic component of this electromagnetic noise is a thousand times weaker than the lower exposure limits adopted in current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, yet it can disrupt the function of an entire sensory system in a higher vertebrate. The birds regain the ability to orient to the Earth's magnetic field when they are shielded from electromagnetic noise or when tested in a rural setting. The cover illustration was designed by Nature Publishing and Dr Karl Harrison.

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