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On the cover of Angewandte ChemieOn the cover of Angewandte Chemie

An article by Anna Rydzik and Jurgen Brem from Schofield group in collaboration with Tim Claridge was featured on the front cover of Angewandte Chemie. The work looks at monitoring conformational changes in the NDM-1 Metallo-β-lactamase by 19F NMR spectroscopy.

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Solving the energy crisis: from crystals to solar fuelsSolving the energy crisis: from crystals to solar fuels

Oxford chemists bring an interactive stand to Oxfordshire Science Festival 2014. In partnership with the Museum of History of Science 'Crystals Day', Imperial College, London, & the Solar Fuels Network.

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I’m a Scientist, Get me out of hereI’m a Scientist, Get me out of here

Mark Wallace is joining the ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ competition this March. Hoping to inspire school students about science, Mark risks being ‘voted off’ or stands to win £500 towards science communication. ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ is a free online X Factor-style competition where school students get to meet and interact with scientists, and students are the judges. Students challenge the scientists over intense, fast-paced online live chats. They then ask the scientists all the questions they want to, and vote for their favourite scientist to win the £500 prize. Tutorial Fellow and Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Mark Wallace, commented: “The idea of the project is to give students a better understanding of science and what it is like to be a scientist. It’s a great opportunity to genuinely engage with students, talking to them one to one, and hopefully inspiring them to think about becoming a scientist in the future.” Mark’s session of ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ takes place from 10-21 March with eight themed zones, four general zones 60 scientists, and nearly 140 different schools from Shetland to Cornwall taking part.

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On the cover of TetrahedronOn the cover of Tetrahedron

A review by Professor David Hodgson and Dr Andrew Charlton on 'Methods for Direct Generation of α-Alkyl-Substituted Aldehydes' has been highlighted on the cover of Tetrahedron. Many paths, one destination. The figure highlights some of the reviewed Csp3−Csp3 asymmetric bond-forming processes that, by overall formal nucleophilic substitution, result in an electrophile losing a leaving group and becoming attached at the α-carbon of an aldehyde.

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Three papers in PNASThree papers in PNAS

Work by the Loenarz and Schofield groups, published as three back-to-back papers in PNAS, identifies novel oxygenase catalysed modifications to ribosomes, in organisms ranging from yeasts to flies and humans. Inhibition of the discovered prolyl hydroxylations can affect the accuracy of protein synthesis, and lead to increased read-through of premature stop codons, including some of clinical relevance (e.g. for Duchenne muscular dystrophy). The work has been conducted in collaboration with Peter Ratcliffe, Matt Cockman (Oxford Medicine) and Pablo Wappner (Argentina).

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ACS Editors’ ChoiceACS Editors’ Choice

The research paper by Steve Davies et al. describing the first asymmetric synthesis and absolute configuration assignment of the marine natural product (−)-nakinadine A, published in Organic Letters, has been selected to be featured in ACS Editors’ Choice.

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DR HONORIS CAUSA DR HONORIS CAUSA

On the 21st February 2014 the University of Salamanca conferred the degree DR HONORIS CAUSA on Professor Steve Davies. Steve is only the third chemist to receive this award, the previous two recipients being Sir Derek Barton (1995) and Steve Ley (2005). The University of Salamanca is one of the oldest universities in the world and only awards three honorary doctorates per year.

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David Clary elected Einstein Professor of Chinese Academy of SciencesDavid Clary elected Einstein Professor of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Professor David Clary has been elected Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This award is made to distinguished international scientists working at the frontiers of science and technology. Professor Clary will give lectures associated with his award in Dalian and Beijing in March 2014. More details of the Einstein Professorship can be found here

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Oxford Chemistry highlighted at the 79th Israeli Chemical Society MeetingOxford Chemistry highlighted at the 79th Israeli Chemical Society Meeting

A cross-departmental delegation from Oxford Chemistry were invited to attend the 79th ICS meeting in Tel Aviv, February 4-5 2014. The meeting featured talks by Veronique Gouverneur, Harry Anderson, Tim Softley, Darren Dixon, Andy Weller, Tim Claridge and Andy Baldwin and was attended by the British Ambassador to Israel. The Oxford team were all made honorary life members of the Israeli Chemical Society.

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Henry Moseley seminar by Prof. Russ EgdellHenry Moseley seminar by Prof. Russ Egdell

The ICL seminar on the 11th Feb 2014 was given by Prof. Russ Egdell from our department, on "Henry Moseley: The Centenary of X-ray spectroscopy and the modern form of the Periodic Table"

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€85 million European programme targets novel antibiotics – ENABLE project€85 million European programme targets novel antibiotics – ENABLE project

Oxford Chemistry is pleased to announce the project, which includes over 30 European universities, research institutes and companies, led by GlaxoSmithKline and Uppsala University. The consortium is joining forces in the 6 year project called ENABLE (European Gram-Negative Antibacterial Engine), supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to develop novel antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens. It has the mission to complete phase 1 clinical trials of at least one novel anti-bacterial for Gram-negative infections by 2019 and includes open calls for candidates outside the consortium.

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Research highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News and Chemistry WorldResearch highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News and Chemistry World

A paper describing new functional materials that allow conversion of light into macroscopic helical motion has been published by Stephen Fletcher in collaboration with the Nathalie Katsonis Group at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. The article was recently appeared in Nature Chemistry and has been highlighted in Chemistry World and C&E News - the later article includes a 2 minute video showing how these springs mimic motions used by cucumber tendrils to help the plant reach the sun.

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Syngenta ScholarshipsSyngenta Scholarships

Ed Emmett from the Willis group has been awarded one of two Syngenta Scholarships for final year PhD students. Syngenta runs an annual Scholarship Scheme at Jealott’s Hill for organic chemists in the final year of their PhD. Last year’s scholarship scheme consisted of a two day interactive workshop centred on synthetic chemistry and the design of new active ingredients. Syngenta is delighted to announce the 2013 Scholars, who were each awarded a scholarship of £1,000 as well as funding of up to £1,000 to attend a scientific conference of their choice.

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Chemistry World highlights Professor Tom Brown's researchChemistry World highlights Professor Tom Brown's research

Human cells can still read strands of DNA correctly if they are stitched together using linkers not found in nature, a new study by a team including Oxford University researchers shows. The artificially linked DNA was created by joining oligonucleotides using a synthesis technique known as ‘click chemistry’. Previously, authors of the report [in Angewandte Chemie], Ali Tavassoli of the University of Southampton and Tom Brown at the University of Oxford and colleagues, showed that click-linked DNA was correctly read by Escherichia coli bacteria.

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Poster Prize for Alex SmithPoster Prize for Alex Smith

Alex Smith, working in the Perkin group, has won the first prize in the poster competition at the International Nanotribology Forum held in Kerala, India, in January 2014. Alex's work describing the quantized nature of friction forces across liquid films has also been published in PCCP

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Focus on PhosphoproteomicsFocus on Phosphoproteomics

Shabaz Mohammed helps create compilation of key phosphoproteomics research. One of the most abundant, and important, modifications to proteins is phosphorylation. The exquisite specificity of phosphorylation reactions creates regulatory and signalling processes within cells by transfer of phosphate along pathways of proteins. The analytical challenge of deciphering protein phosphorylation is great as the presence of phosphorylation first needs to be detected and then the site of phosphorylation within a protein needs to be determined. Shabaz alongside John Yates of the Scripps Institute and Albert Heck from Utrecht University have created a virtual issue (in the ACS journals Analytical Chemistry and the Journal of Proteome Research) comprising of key papers published over the last decade that have described technologies that are now mainstream biochemical tools. They also highlight new works that have the potential of further accelerating the speed at which we can understand cellular behaviour.

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Chem Comm CoverChem Comm Cover

A research paper from Anna Rydzik et. al. from the Professor Schofield research group has been featured on the cover of Chem Comm. The paper concerns the synthesis and applications of fuoromethylated derivatives of carnitine biosynthesis intermediates.

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Poster Prize for EdPoster Prize for Ed

Ed Emmett, from the Willis group, was awarded a runner-up prize at the RSC Organic Division Poster symposium, held at Burlington House in December. Ed presented his DPhil work on the development of DABSO.

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Hot paper and on the cover of Angewandte  ChemieHot paper and on the cover of Angewandte Chemie

The research paper concerning the α-methylation of ketones using methanol as the carbon source by T. J. Donohoe et al has been highlighted on the journal cover and as a hot paper. The rhodium-catalyzed methylation of ketones has been accomplished using methanol as the methylating agent and the hydrogen-borrowing method. The sequence is notable for the relatively low temperatures that are required and for the ability of the reaction system to form a-branched products with ease. Doubly alkylated ketones can be prepared from methyl ketones and two different alcohols by using a sequential onepot iridium- and rhodium-catalyzed process. The cover design was created by Dr Karl Harrison

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VIP in ChemElectroChemVIP in ChemElectroChem

The paper entitled 'Organic Nanoparticles: Mechanism of electron transfer to indigo nanoparticles" by Wei Cheng, Christopher Batchelor-McAuley and Richard G Compton has been selected as a Very Important Paper by the Wiley journal ChemElectroChem

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Research Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering NewsResearch Highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News

A recent communication by Andrew Jupp and Jose Goicoechea has been highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News. The paper, which describes the synthesis of phosphinecarboxamide (a phosphorus-containing analogue of urea) was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Further studies on this fundamental species, and other closely related molecules, are currently on-going in the Goicoechea group.

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Best Oral PresentationBest Oral Presentation

Duncan Hay from the Schofield group won best oral presentation at the 7th BMCS PhD biological and medicinal chemistry symposium which took place on the 13th of December in Cambridge for his presentation entitled "SGC-CBP30: A Chemical Probe for the CBP/p300 Bromodomains."

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Lilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry ResearchLilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry Research

The Lilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry Research are awarded by Eli Lilly and Company Ltd. They are awarded for excellence in the first year of postgraduate study and are assessed on the quality of experimental work, written submission and viva voce at the point of examination for PRS transfer of status to DPhil. Dr Magnus Walter from Lilly’s came to award the prizes on Thursday 12 December.

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Sir John CornforthSir John Cornforth

Sir John Warcup Cornforth recently passed away. Sir John was a D. Phil student at Oxford (1941) and a Nobel prize winner (with Vladimir Prelog) for his work on on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Sir John was a genuine pioneer of work at the organic synthesis – biology interface. He was a wonderful role model, practical chemist, and supporter of organic chemistry.

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Poster Prize for HeidiPoster Prize for Heidi

Heidi Gastall, a 2nd year DPhil student working in the Benesch group won a poster prize for her research at the practical course on High Throughput Recombinant Protein Complex Production, held at the AFMB in Marseilles. Her poster described her mass spectrometry experiments into the role of the C-terminal region in small heat-shock proteins, row which she received a copy of the newly published Structural Genomics edition of Methods in Molecular Biology.

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The Wired Smart List 2013The Wired Smart List 2013

Kylie Vincent, a research fellow at Oxford University, has been included in Wired’s Smart List for 2013. She was nominated by Lesley Yellowlees, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, who said: ‘Kylie is an inspirational chemist whose drive and passion have led her to achieve great things early in her career. Her research focuses on enzyme-based technologies that could provide solutions to energy storage and sustainable fuels. Working at the chemistry-biology interface, her research group studies how nature handles these challenges, and how they can apply this knowledge to technologies that can benefit humankind. By studying the enzymes that allow bacteria to live off hydrogen gas and make useful chemicals from carbon dioxide, she has developed and patented a new technology called HydRegen -- a system of graphite beads coated with enzymes that allows chemists to capitalise on nature's methods for producing complex chemicals. She was overall winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies competition in 2013.’

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MuOx Ltd acquired by Summit Corporation plcMuOx Ltd acquired by Summit Corporation plc

MuOx Ltd, an Oxford University Department of Chemistry spin-out company specializing in utrophin modulation has been acquired by Summit Corporation plc. Under the terms of the deal, Summit will issue 35,408,845 new ordinary shares, credited as fully paid and to be issued at 9.38 pence per share, for the acquisition of MuOx Limited ('MuOx'). MuOx is a University of Oxford spin-out company founded by Professors Steve Davies and Kay Davies and Dr Angela Russell that holds the exclusive rights to the series of utrophin modulators and core screening technology.

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On the cover of Tetrahedron LettersOn the cover of Tetrahedron Letters

Research by Rushabh Shah and co-workers in Professor Steve Davies's group has been highlighted on the cover of Tetrahedron Letters. The paper describes the first asymmetric synthesis of the marine alkaloid (−)-(S)-nakinadine C.

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New EPSRC Programme GrantNew EPSRC Programme Grant

The Oxford Chemistry Groups of Prof Mark Brouard, Dr Claire Vallance and Dr Stuart Mackenzie, in collaboration with colleagues Prof Mike Ashfold, Prof Andrew Orr-Ewing and Prof Jeremy Harvey from the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, have secured a major new 5-year Programme Grant from the EPSRC. The grant is entitled Chemical Applications of Velocity and Spatial Map Imaging and we will use new imaging techniques to study chemical dynamics and to add new dimensions of information to mass spectrometry. This award follows a very successful collaborative EPSRC Programme Grant (2007 - 2013) involving Bristol and Oxford Chemistry research groups

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On the cover of Nature MethodsOn the cover of Nature Methods

Releasing intact membrane protein complexes in bicelles or nanodiscs into the gas phase for observation by mass spectrometry. Photograph and cover art by Jonathan Hopper, Karl Harrison and Michelle Smikle.

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