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ALDRICHIAN PRAELECTORSHIP IN CHEMISTRYALDRICHIAN PRAELECTORSHIP IN CHEMISTRY

In recognition of his outstanding academic achievements, Professor Richard G. Compton has been appointed as the Aldrichian Praelector in Chemistry.

Past holders of this prestigious post include E.J. Bowen (52-65), R. Freeman (82-87), M.S. Child (88-94), C.M.Dobson (95-01), and R.K. Thomas (02-09).

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Licensing Deal for Department's Research TechnologyLicensing Deal for Department's Research Technology

Oxford Nutrascience Group plc has signed a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Isis Innovation Limited, the technology transfer company wholly-owned by the University of Oxford, to develop and commercialise products utilizing a novel drug delivery technology.

The drug delivery technology, which has been developed by Professor Dermot O'Hare and his research group at the University of Oxford's chemistry department, provides for outstanding taste masking, enhanced drug stability and potential for tuneable drug release properties.

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On the cover of  Journal of Magnetic ResonanceOn the cover of Journal of Magnetic Resonance

Work by Hannah Hogben in collaboration with Ilya Kuprov and colleagues in the Oxford e-Research Centre has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance. The article, “Spinach – a software library for simulation of spin dynamics in large spin systems” describes efficient algorithms for simulating the behaviour of 40 or more coupled spins in NMR, EPR and Spin Chemistry experiments.

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Front cover image for Journal of Biomolecular NMRFront cover image for Journal of Biomolecular NMR

Research by Lorna Smith, together with Christina Redfield, Victoria Higman and Jonathan Boyd in the Department of Biochemistr,y has been featured on the front cover of the Journal of Biomolecular NMR. The paper reports NMR residual dipolar couplings for hen lysozyme measured in 8 different alignment media and considers whether multiple independent alignments are always possible.

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Veronique Gouverneur features in an Angewandte Chemie Editorial Article on Female ChemistsVeronique Gouverneur features in an Angewandte Chemie Editorial Article on Female Chemists

As part of the International Year of Chemistry and to celebrate the 100th anniversary for Marie Curie receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie has dedicated an issue to female chemists. Diane Smith, Senior Associate Editor reports in an Editorial article.

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Research on the Evolution of Oxygen Sensing featured widelyResearch on the Evolution of Oxygen Sensing featured widely

Research by Christoph Loenarz and Anna Boleininger of the Schofield group, published in EMBO Reports, has been the focus of a feature article, a cover image, and press coverage.

Using the simplest living animal, Trichoplax adhaerens, the team involving collaborators in Oxford and Hanover addressed a fundamental question of multicellularity: how to ensure a sufficient supply of oxygen to every cell. Their results suggest that the mechanism humans use to sense oxygen evolved at a similar time as the earliest multicellular animals; the key sensing enzyme from Trichoplax was able to replace the human oxygen sensor in human cells. The study may help to explain why the earliest evidence of multicellular animals appears ~550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels on the planet rose from 3% towards their modern day level of 21%.

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Nature highlights Oxford ChemistryNature highlights Oxford Chemistry

Nature has published a special issue of the journal, for first issue of 2011, focusing on the official United Nations banner of the International Year of Chemistry, where "Chemists should celebrate their discipline's past as the foundation of other fields, and face the future with increasing confidence".

In the special issue, two Oxford research papers are published back to back, with papers from a collaboration between Prof Ben Davis and Prof John Simons' research groups and the other paper from Prof Harry Anderson's group. The work by Harry Anderson's group was additionally highlighted in the News and Views section of the special issue.

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VIP paper in Chem. Eur. J.VIP paper in Chem. Eur. J.

Work by Dan Schofield, Andrew Schwarz and Jon Selby from the Mountford group, in collaboration with co-workers at the University of Montpellier, has been designated as a VIP paper in Chemistry – A European Journal. A range of new transformations of the Ti=NNPh2 functional group were studied experimentally and computationally.

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National 22nd Pfizer Poster SymposiumNational 22nd Pfizer Poster Symposium

The 22nd Pfizer Poster Symposium was held on the 7th December at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London. A fantastic mix of top-quality science was on display from the 30 PhD students attending the event, ranging from complex total synthesis and novel synthetic methodologies to cutting edge chemical biology. The event was attended by a number of Pfizer colleagues and UK-based academics. The judging was carried out by Dr. Don Middleton (Pfizer) and Professor Phil Parsons (Sussex University). Prizes were awarded to Alex Cresswell (Oxford University, Prof. S. Davies group), Elizabeth Jones (Imperial College London, Prof. A. Barrett group) and Stephen Wallace (Oxford University, Dr. M. Smith group).

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Hot article in Angewandte ChemieHot article in Angewandte Chemie

A recent paper based on work by Christina Tang in the Aldridge group and carried out in the CRL has been selected as a ‘hot article’ by Angewandte Chemie. C-H to C-B conversion of benzylic bonds mediated by iridium has been discovered, utilizing inexpensive LiBH4 as the boron source.

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Summer Vacation Student sees work patented and publicised Summer Vacation Student sees work patented and publicised

An EPSRC summer vacation studentship provided by the MPLS Division for Ben Martindale to work with Professor Compton has resulted in a patent, research publications and publicity. The work by Ben uses a sensor to determine the strength of garlic for the food industry. The electrochemical sensor that detects the amount of diallylsulfides in garlic - larger amounts of diallylsulfides indicate a stronger flavour.

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Hot Paper in Energy & Environmental ScienceHot Paper in Energy & Environmental Science

The RSC journal EES has selected a mini review by Neil Rees and Richard Compton which discusses the current state-of-the-art in electrochemical capture and transformation of carbon dioxide into useful organic feedstocks as a hot paper for December.

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OBC Hot PaperOBC Hot Paper

Véronique Gouverneur and colleagues at University of Oxford, UK, have designed an excellent avenue to generate 18F-labelled molecules via traceless Staudinger ligation. The referees rated it as very significant and the authors say that this novel prosthetic group 18F-radiochemistry may find numerous applications in the context of peptide 18F-labelling. This article is part of the fluorine chemistry web themed issue that will be published on line in December.

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Blue Chemical Landmark plaque for rechargeable batteries researchBlue Chemical Landmark plaque for rechargeable batteries research

The Royal Society of Chemistry marked the 30 years since the research by Oxford University scientists which led to the development of one of the world’s most popular rechargeable batteries, with the award of a special plaque to be mounted at the entrance to Oxford University’s Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory where the four scientists made their discovery. In 1976, Professor John Goodenough, then newly appointed head of Inorganic Chemistry, formed a research group to look again at the potential for creating rechargeable batteries. The group included Koichi Mizushima, Phil Jones and Phil Wiseman.

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Highlighted in JACS SelectHighlighted in JACS Select

JACS Select Article Work by Nicola Laurieri and co-workers from the Russell group, in collaboration with Edith Sim’s group in the Department of Pharmacology and funded by Cancer Research UK, has been selected by the editors of the Journal of the American Chemical Society for the latest issue of JACS Select and is also featured in an editorial. The paper describes the development of a family of molecules that change colour specifically in the presence of a breast cancer biomarker as a result of a proton transfer.

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Award for Educational Excellence in ScienceAward for Educational Excellence in Science

Boyd Thammajak, a third year D. Phil. student working with Peter Battle, has been awarded an Anglo-Thai Society Award for Educational Excellence in Science. The 2010 awards were announced at a dinner held at the Oriental Club, London on Tuesday, 16th November in the presence of the Thai Ambassador.

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Poster Prize WinnerPoster Prize Winner

Jeremy Law, an undergraduate Part II student working with Dr Nicholas Rees and Dr David Watkin, has won a prize for his poster entitled “Alternative Approaches to Hydrogen Atom Location in the Solid State”. He presented his work to the joint ISIS Crystallography User Group and British Crystallographic Association PCG/SCMP meeting “Current Research in Physical Crystallography”.

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Teaching AwardsTeaching Awards

Congratulations to Prof David Manolopoulos, Dr Mark Moloney, Dr David Watkin who received awards under the Oxford Teaching Awards scheme for their excellence in teaching as attested by student feedback and with the support of the department. They each received certificates presented by Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford at Rhodes House.
The Oxford Teaching Awards scheme, co-ordinated by the Oxford University Learning Institute, recognises outstanding contributions award winners have made to teaching and learning at Oxford. (photo credit Rob Judge)

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Ben Davis research on Chem. Commun. inside cover and recent PNAS paper highlightedBen Davis research on Chem. Commun. inside cover and recent PNAS paper highlighted

The recent edition of Chem Comm features research from the Ben Davis group on the tag-and-modify strategy which allows the synthesis of homogenous fluorinated glyco-amino acids, peptides and proteins carrying a fluorine label in the sugar and access to first examples of directly radiolabelled ([18F]-glyco)proteins.
Other research from the group published PNAS has been featured on the Nature Functional Glycomics Gateway

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Chem. Commun. inside coverChem. Commun. inside cover

Recent work by Andrey Protchenko and Liban Saleh as part of a collaborative project involving the Aldridge and Mountford groups, and co-workers at Monash University has been featured as the inside cover of the latest issue of Chem. Commun. The paper reports on divergent reaction site selectivity for Group 13 nucleophiles towards Group 4 substrates

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Eisai Part 1 A PrizesEisai Part 1 A Prizes

Recently Eisai Inc. (U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd. ) visited the department and at a ceremony Benjamin Martindale (SJC), David Shepherd (STC), Paul Kaufman (MER) and Philip Derry (NEW), received one of the four Eisai prizes for the best performance in Part IA from Dr. Luis Castro.

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Pfizer Organic Chemistry Poster SymposiumPfizer Organic Chemistry Poster Symposium

In October, Organic Chemistry hosted the Pfizer Organic Chemistry Poster Symposium. The winners of the poster prizes awarded by the judges were as follows: Runners up: Melanie O'Sullivan (HLA) and David Daniels (EAA) First Prize: Nicola Davis (HLA). The photograph shows the winners Nicola Davis (centre), Melanie O'Sullivan (right) and David Daniels (left).

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ERC funding successesERC funding successes

Research groups from the Chemistry Department have been awarded a total of EUR 3.9 million from the European Research Council to support two five-year research programs. Kylie Vincent’s project is entitled “Understanding and Exploiting Biological Catalysts for Energy Cycling:” and the project led by Paul Beer, Jason Davis and Stephen Faulkner is entitled “Ditopic Imaging Agents, Interlocked Sensors and Machines”.

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2010 AstraZeneca Research Award in Organic Chemistry2010 AstraZeneca Research Award in Organic Chemistry

In recognition of the Dixon group’s development of elegant cascade reactions and organocatalytic transformations and their application to natural product synthesis, Professor Darren J. Dixon has been awarded a 2010 AstraZeneca Research Award in Organic Chemistry. The AstraZeneca awards in Organic Chemistry have been awarded annually since 1990; one to a UK academic and one to a researcher from continental Europe. Dixon gave his award lecture titled ‘Catalysis and Cascades in Complex Alkaloid Natural Product Synthesis’ at a symposium held at the AstraZeneca Alderley Park site on Thursday 14th October 2010.

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Poster Prize WinnerPoster Prize Winner

Congratulations to Liang Kong, a second year DPhil student in the research group of Professor Peter P. Edwards F.R.S, on being awarded the First Prize of Poster Presentation for Excellence in Chemical Research at the 17th Joint Annual Conference of the Chinese Society of Chemical Science & Technology in the UK and the SCI Chinese UK Group recently held in Oxford. Liang presents her poster on ‘Novel BiOBr-ZnFe2O4 Semiconductor Composites with Exceptional Visible-Light-Activity for Water Purification’

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Kelvin Hongliang Zhang wins SCI Prize for PresentationKelvin Hongliang Zhang wins SCI Prize for Presentation

Kelvin Hongliang Zhang, a 3rd year student in Russ Egdell's group, won the First Prize for Excellence in Chemical Research for his oral presentation on "Electronic and Morphological Investigations of In2O3 Nanostructures and Thin Films Grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy" at the 17th Joint Annual Conference of the the Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology in the UK and the Society of Chemical Industry Chinese UK Group. The meeting was held in Oxford on 9th October with the theme "Sustainable Development of Chemical Science and Technology Towards a Low-Carbon Economy"

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Graham Richards highlighted in the Eureka 100Graham Richards highlighted in the Eureka 100

Eureka, The Times' monthly science magazine, celebrates its first anniversary with the inaugural Eureka 100 - a guide to the most important contemporary figures in British science. Professor Richards was highlighted at position 65 for his roles in chemistry and founder of ISIS Innovation. Other Oxford academics include Jocelyn Bell Burnell [15], John Bell [20], Richard Dawkins [25], Kay Davies [29], Andrew Wiles [41] (arriving in 2011) and David King [54], Peter Ratcliffe [60], Colin Blakemore [64], John Krebs [71], and Marcus du Sautoy [76].

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Angewandte Hot ArticleAngewandte Hot Article

Work by Myriam Yagoubi and Ana Cruz from the Willis group, has been selected by the editors of Angewandte Chemie as a “hot article”. The paper describe the synthesis of both indole and benzofuran scaffolds using a single strategy based on palladium-catalysed direct arylation chemistry. The method exploits simple aryl C-H bonds to form the key C-C bonds needed to construct the heterocycles.

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2010 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship2010 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

Dr Emily Flashman has been awarded a prestigious 2010 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, one of only 10 awarded nationally each year. This 4 year fellowship will enable her to pursue independent research, studying the oxygen sensing mechanisms of the HIF hydroxylases, enzymes involved in regulating oxygen levels in the body. Emily’s work aims to correlate the oxygen sensing properties of these enzymes in isolated systems with those in the much more complex cellular environment.

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Professor Patrick Perlmutter Academic Visitor Autumn 2010Professor Patrick Perlmutter Academic Visitor Autumn 2010

The chemistry department is delighted to welcome Professor Patrick Perlmutter from the School of Chemistry, Monash University, Australia to be an academic visitor for 2010. His group applies organic synthetic chemistry in a wide range of areas including new methodology, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry as well as new materials and emerging technologies. My hosts are Profs. Steve Davies and George Fleet and I will be sharing an office with Prof. Fleet (Office 10, Level 1) until the end of January 2011. I would be delighted to meet with members of the CRL and discuss science and any matters Antipodean (even the cricket).

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