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2008 Horace S. Isbell Award for Professor Ben Davis2008 Horace S. Isbell Award for Professor Ben Davis

Professor Ben Davis has been awarded by the ACS Carbohydrate Division the 2008 Horace S. Isbell Award for outstanding contributions to the field of carbohydrate chemistry. The award recognizes carbohydrate scientists under the age of 41 who have demonstrated excellence in the field and show promise of continuing to make high-quality contributions to carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry. It is the first time someone in the UK has won this honour.

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Part II Research Highlighted in Chemical & Engineering NewsPart II Research Highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News

A recent publication from the Ben Davis group was highlighted in C&E News. The work was led by Yuya Angel Lin, a Part II student from Keble College. The authors have discovered that allyl sulfides are efficient substrates in aqueous cross-metathesis. The enhanced reactivity derives from a unique sulfur relay of the alkene to the ruthenium catalyst. The high reactivity of allyl sulfides in cross-metathesis was exploited in the first examples of cross-metathesis on a protein surface, setting a new standard in substrate sensitivity and complexity in olefin metathesis and expanding the toolkit for protein modification.

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Hot Chem Commun Research ArticleHot Chem Commun Research Article

The work of Sophie Boldon, a D Phil student from Dr Gouverneur's group is currently a Hot Article in Chemical Communications. In collaboration with AstraZeneca, the authors have validated a new fluorous detagging process featuring a C-F bond forming event. The resulting fluorinated products were sucessfully separated from the excess fluorous starting allylsilanes and other fluorous material by Fluorous Solid Phase Extraction. The significance of this transformation is its potential for the preparation of 18F-labelled radiotracers.

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Annemarie Wait demonstrates enzyme fuel cell at UNICAT meetingAnnemarie Wait demonstrates enzyme fuel cell at UNICAT meeting

Annemarie Wait (Merton college) a first year DPhil student in the Profeesor Fraser Armstong group recently presented her fuel cell work. The occasion was the inaugural meeting of the Berlin Cluster of Excellence' called 'UNICAT' (unifying concepts of catalysis) combining universities in the now-state of Berlin, the universities having been earlier in East or West Germany.

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Light Activated Drugs: - Two photons are better than oneLight Activated Drugs: - Two photons are better than one

Research from Harry Anderson's group on porphyrin-based drugs for two-photon photodynamic therapy has been published in Nature Photonics and highlighted in Chemistry World. The results show that porphyrin dimers can be used to close-off blood capillaries high spatial selectivity.

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Chemist nominated as next Vice-ChancellorChemist nominated as next Vice-Chancellor

Professor Andrew Hamilton, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRS, currently the Provost of Yale University, has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Professor Hamilton has been Provost of Yale since 2004 and combines his wide-ranging administrative duties with a distinguished teaching and research career. In addition to serving as Provost, he is Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

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New Journal of Chemistry Hot ArticleNew Journal of Chemistry Hot Article

A research paper by Thomas Douglas and Andrew Weller on the reversible, acceptorless, alkyl dehydrogenation of cyclic phosphines in the solid-state has been highlighted as a Hot Article in the latest issue of New Journal of Chemistry.

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Dirk Aarts wins IOP Liquids and Complex Fluids Group Young Scientist AwardDirk Aarts wins IOP Liquids and Complex Fluids Group Young Scientist Award

Dirk Aarts, University Lecturer in the PTCL and Student of Christ Church, has won the 2007/8 prize from the Institute of Physics, an award aimed at exceptional younger scientists working in the broadly defined area of Liquids and Complex Fluids. It is awarded every 2 years, with the winner receiving a cash prize e £200, and giving a lecture at a general meeting of the IOP.

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Chemists measure chilli sauce hotness with nanotubesChemists measure chilli sauce hotness with nanotubes

Oxford chemists have found a way of using carbon nanotubes to judge the heat of chilli sauces. The technology might soon be available commercially as a cheap, disposable sensor for use in the food industry. Professor Richard Compton and his team at Oxford University have developed a sensitive technique to measure the levels of capsaicinoids, the substances that make chillies hot, in samples of chilli sauce. They report their findings in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal The Analyst.

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RSC Interviews Professor Steve DaviesRSC Interviews Professor Steve Davies

Sarah Houlton writing for the RSC publication Chemistry World (May 2008) has interviewed our Head of Department Professor Steve Davies. The article titled "Chemistry's millionaire" finds out how Steve Davies has made successful business his hobby and reveals some of the secrets of entrepreneurial chemistry. He talks about the creation of Oxford Asymmetry International (OAI) - which after flotation was sold for £316M - and discusses the science of his most recent floated company VASTox (now renamed Summit), along with his future plans with oXray and Sci-Ink. Photo copyright ROGER ASKEW

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Sir Derek Barton Gold Medal 2008 - Winner - Sir Jack BaldwinSir Derek Barton Gold Medal 2008 - Winner - Sir Jack Baldwin

This prize of a gold medal bearing the portrait of Sir Derek Barton is offered biennially. The award is intended to recognise work in any area of organic chemistry or chemical biology that reflects the many diverse interests associated with Sir Derek. This prize has no nationality restrictions but is awarded for work conducted anywhere in the world after the winners 60th birthday. In the tradition of Sir Derek Barton, Professor Baldwin's career has been marked by his originality, creativity and versatility.

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Professor Fraser Armstrong Elected FRSProfessor Fraser Armstrong Elected FRS

Fraser Armstrong is today (16th May 2008) elected as Fellow of the Royal Society. Armstrong is distinguished for revolutionalising the way in which complex electron-transfer processes can be interrogated in proteins. He has pioneered an important electrochemical technique protein film voltammetry - that makes possible highly detailed studies of the reactions of active sites and the mechanisms and control of electron flow and energy coupling during catalysis by multi-centred metallo-enzymes. He has demonstrated, in atomic detail, a mechanism for proton hopping and protonelectron coupling in proteins, processes central to bioenergetics. Recently, he has resolved some of the complicated catalytic reactions and active-site transformations of hydrogenases enzymes of importance for future energy technology

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Oxford undergraduate chemist wins SCI prizeOxford undergraduate chemist wins SCI prize

Alex Cresswell, a final year undergraduate student working in the Chemistry Research Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Steve Davies, has won one of three prizes given for the best talks at the inaugural 'SCI-Young Chemist Panel South-West Undergraduate Research Symposium'. His talk entitled 'Stereoselective oxidation of allylic amines' given at the meeting in Bath, described results from his Part II project.

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Chris Rodgers wins an 2008 IUPAC Prize for Young ChemistsChris Rodgers wins an 2008 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists

Chris Rodgers, a post-doc in Tim Softley's group and a JRF at Somerville, has been awarded one of the five 2008 IUPAC Prizes for Young Chemists. These annual prizes are awarded for the most outstanding PhD theses in the general area of the chemical sciences, as described in a 1000-word essay. Chris will receive a plaque, a cash prize of USD 1000 and a trip to the 42nd IUPAC Congress in Glasgow in August 2009. His DPhil, entitled ‘Magnetic Field Effects in Chemical Systems’, was completed last year.

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May 08 Cover of OBCMay 08 Cover of OBC

A paper by L. Carroll, S. McCullough and T. Rees from the Claridge and Gouverneur groups appeared on the front cover of OBC. The cover shows that propargylic fluorides can be accessed in high enantiomeric purity by fluorodesilylation of allenylsilanes. The chemistry solves the problem of erosion of ee occasionally observed upon nucleophilic fluorination of propargylic alcohols using DAST. The ee were determined using 13C NMR spectroscopy performed in chiral liquid crystalline solvents. The cover was produced with the help of Karl Harrison.

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On the cover of ChemMedChemOn the cover of ChemMedChem

The cover of the April 08 issue of ChemMedChem highlights the work from the Professor Scholfield research group. The cover picture shows a view from a crystal structure of prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 (PHD2), which is the major PHD that catalyses HIF- hydroxylation under normoxic conditions. The hypoxic response in animals is mediated by the transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor (HIF). The cover artwork was produced by Karl Harrison for the research paper.

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Winning RSC Theoretical Chemistry Coulson Prize at Graduate Student MeetingWinning RSC Theoretical Chemistry Coulson Prize at Graduate Student Meeting

Andrew Mitchell, a 3rd year D.Phil. Student in Theoretical Chemistry, has won the Coulson Prize for the best talk at the RSC Theoretical Chemistry Group's annual Graduate Student Meeting, held at the University of Manchester on April 16th. Andrew's talk was entitled 'Novel correlated states with coupled quantum dots', and his Prize was accompanied by a welcome cheque. This is the second year running that an Oxford theoretician has won the Coulson Prize.

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Dalton Highlights WorkDalton Highlights Work

Recent work by Chao Wang, Gregory Hayday and Philip Mountford in the CRL has been highlighted as a 'hot paper' in Dalton Transactions. This work continues the group's activities in the design and synthesis of new olefin polymerization catalysts.

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Chemical & Engineering News Highlights Ben Davis's Group Synthetic StrategyChemical & Engineering News Highlights Ben Davis's Group Synthetic Strategy

Ben Davis's recent publication in J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja800800p details an alternative route to prepare Dehydroalanine (Dha) - an important chemical handle for selectively modifying proteins. The research treated Boc-protected Cys methyl ester with excess MSH (shown), gave the Dha derivative in almost quantitative yield in just a few minutes at room temperature in open air. They used the strategy to convert the single exposed Cys on the surface of subtilisin from the bacterium Bacillus lentus without oxidizing any of the three methionine units also present.

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Highlighted work in Angewandte ChemieHighlighted work in Angewandte Chemie

Recent work from Jonathan Selby, Catherine Manley and Philip Mountford in the CRL on the catalytic diamination of alkynes using titanium hydrazide compounds (Chem. Commun. 2007, p4937-4939) has been highlighted in Angewandte Chemie in an article entitled 'Early Transition Metal Hydrazido Complexes: Masked Metallanitrenes from N-N Bond Scission'.

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Hot Chem Comm Article: Anions induce circular motion in catenanesHot Chem Comm Article: Anions induce circular motion in catenanes

The construction of interlocked structures has long been an area of intensive research in supramolecular chemistry. While cationic species have been widely used to effect motion in molecules; the use of anions is extremely rare despite the fact that anions are key components in many biological and chemical processes. A collaboration between Paul Beer, from the University of Oxford, UK and Vitor Felix, from Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal has resulted in development of anion-induced molecular motion in an artificially constructed assembly.

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Poster Prize for Research StudentsPoster Prize for Research Students

DPhil students James Oldham and Elin McCormack from Prof Softley's group won first and second prizes for their posters at the Royal Society's Spectroscopy and Dynamics Group meeting in December. Their research focusses on ultracold chemistry and on the interaction of Rydberg molecules with metallic surfaces.

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Professor Sir John S Rowlinson Wins AwardProfessor Sir John S Rowlinson Wins Award

John Rowlinson, PTCL, has received the Sidney Edelstein Award for 2008 for the history of chemistry from the American Chemical Society. The award was established in 2002 and is generously sponsored by Ruth Edelstein Barish in honor of Sidney M. Edelstein. In addition, for many years, the Chemical Heritage Foundation has provided additional support for this award. The award consists of $3500 and a plaque.

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2.5M Cancer Drug Discovery Grant Awarded2.5M Cancer Drug Discovery Grant Awarded

The Department has been awarded a CRUK Small Molecule Cancer Drug Discovery programme grant which will provide seed-corn funding for a team of medicinal chemists to drive a series of programmes, coordinated by Steve Davies, in cancer drug discovery in Oxford. The collaborative programme brings together a team of cancer biologists, structural biologists and synthetic chemists across Oxford Departments. Other members of the team include Angela Russell and Chris Schofield.

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Spin-Out News - Oxford Advanced SurfacesSpin-Out News - Oxford Advanced Surfaces

Oxford Advanced Surfaces, founded by Dr Mark Moloney in June 2006, joined AIM after a successful reverse takeover by Kanyon plc in December 2007. The company, now called Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group plc, has developed technology that enables the modification of the surface properties of a range of materials to diversify their applications and functionalities.

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Oxford climbs to number two in world university rankingsOxford climbs to number two in world university rankings

Oxford has risen to joint second place in the Times Higher Education Supplements World University Rankings 2007. This brings Oxford up from third place last year, level with Cambridge and Yale, and closing in on Harvard, ranked number one. The other UK institutions in the top 10 are Imperial College London, which has climbed from 9th to 5th place, and University College London, which has risen to 9th place.

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Cover Picture for Jan 08 Chem Soc RevCover Picture for Jan 08 Chem Soc Rev

The tutorial review titled 'Fluorine in Medicinal Chemistry' from Veronique Gouverneur's laboratory [Sophia Purser] published in Chemical Society Reviews has been selected by the editor as the cover story. The review explains why fluorinated compounds have a remarkable record in medicinal chemistry and will play a continuing role in providing lead compounds for therapeutic applications. It provides a sampling of renowned fluorinated drugs and their mode of action with a discussion clarifying the role and impact of fluorine substitution on drug potency. The cover illustration was designed by Karl Harrison

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Cover Picture on Nature ProtocolCover Picture on Nature Protocol

A paper by Sander van Kasteren and Holer Kramer, from the Davis group, on the 'Synthesis of Glycoproteins' appeared on the front cover of the December issue of Nature Protocols. Cover shows a mass spectrum resulting from the Glyco- copper-catalysed Huisgen cycloadditon reaction of SSG-Aha43 (a -Galactosidase mutant protein from Sulfolobus solfataricus with single azide tag) with GlcNAc-O-CH2-alkyne. This is an example of a site-selective protein glycosylation.

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Poster Prize for Paul GardnerPoster Prize for Paul Gardner

Paul Gardner, a 3rd year student in the Davis group won first prize for his poster 'Quorum Sensing of Formose: Towards Artificial Cell - Natural Cell Communication' at the European Science Foundation meeting on Synthetic Biology.

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Honorary MA for Roger BowlerHonorary MA for Roger Bowler

Roger Bowler, former Head of the Mechanical Workshops in the PTCL, is to be granted an Honorary MA by the University of Oxford at a ceremony on March 1st. Roger Bowler served the Department of Chemistry in the Mechanical Workshops for over 45 years from September 1961 until his retirement in February 2007. He was appointed Deputy Supervisor in 1994, and Supervisor in 2000. He spent his entire working life as a scientific instrument maker in the service of the University and was dedicated to playing his part in furthering the research programmes of the Department. It is no exaggeration to say that his technical and managerial skills in designing and building experimental instruments have helped the department achieve its current level of excellence. His expertise is recognised by co-authorship of several academic articles on work carried out in the Department.

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