Research Highlight

Cover of Angewandte ChemieWork from Prof. Martin Paterson's group, in collaboration with Prof. Peter Sadler's group at the University of Warwick, has been published as a cover article and very important paper (VIP) in one of the foremost general chemistry journals: Angewandte Chemie, 56, 2017, 14898. The work shows how certain iridium(III) complexes can be used to destroy cancer cells via irradiation and subsequently utilising their very long-lived triplet states. Furthermore, the photochemistry can be initiated via a two-photon absorption, thereby overcoming issues of tissue opacity. The photoactivation was shown to cause oxidative damage to histidine residues in proteins within living cancer cells.

Research Highlight

The James Webb Space Telescope, due for launch by NASA next year, is one of the most exciting and expensive astronomical projects at the moment. Access to time on the telescope will be extremely competitive. The HWU Astrochemistry Group, as part of a large international collaboration involving colleagues from Europe and the USA, has successfully secured over 30 hours of observing time in the first few months of the telescope's operation. This is a time when access to the telescope is only given to the most important scientific problems. This is a real coup for the HWU Astrochemistry Group!

Research Highlight

Alexander Rosu FinsenPhD Prize Success for former ICS PhD Student! For the second year in a row, a former member of the Astrochemistry Group in the Institute of Chemical Science has won the Institute of Physics (IoP) Thin Films and Surface Group (TFSG) Woodruff Thesis Prize! That former student is Dr. Alexander Rosu-Finsen who completed his thesis entitled "Icy Dust Grains in the Interstellar Medium: Their Properties and Impact" in November 2016 and is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Chemistry Department of University College London.

Dr. Neil Curson, current Chair of the TFSG, said that the standard of applications was extremely high, but Alex's thesis clearly stood above the rest. Alex's success will be announced in the forthcoming TFSG Newsletter. He will receive a certificate and financial reward from the IoP to reflect on this success in this highly competitive annual competition.

Research Highlight

During October, PPICSS (PhDs and Post Docs of ICS Society) participated in the Midlothian Science Festival Gala Day. The group ran an activity that focussed on using red cabbage juice as an indicator for house-hold acids and bases to show that chemistry is in your home and is not as intangible as you might think. Children were provided with a colour chart with blank spaces and tasked with carrying out a series of experiments to find out which acid and alkali would turn cabbage juice into a different colour. The colour changes really grabbed their attention! A special thanks to all volunteers, Stephen Mansell and Kevin Jones (St Andrews) for their help.

Research Highlight

The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences was represented at the Bang Goes the Borders Festival on 23 September by PPICSS (PhDs and Post Docs of ICS Society). This was the first major outreach event for the newly formed group keen to bring chemistry to the public. This year's free festival was held in Melrose to encourage children from local primary and secondary schools and their families to get involved in the world of science and discovery. Kirsty McCrae, Festival organiser said: "By instilling a passion for science with our children at an early age using fun, hands-on engaging activities, we can open their eyes and minds to fantastic opportunities."

Research Highlight

Research from the Lloyd and Khimyak (University of East-Anglia) groups, titled 'Supramolecular Amino Acid Based Hydrogels: Probing the Contribution of Additive Molecules using NMR Spectroscopy', was published as a 'Hot Paper' in the 750th issue of Chemistry - A European Journal. The article discusses the effects of different amino acids on phenylalanine hydrogelation, an important aspect relating to the disease phenylketonuria.

Research Highlight

3rd year PhD student, Jean-Marie Cols, was recently awarded a highly competitive travel bursary from the SCI. Around ten bursaries are awarded each year from applications across the fields of chemical science (including all life sciences), engineering and technology. Jean-Marie will be using the bursary to present his most recent work at the EuCheMS Inorganic Chemistry Conference (EICC-4) in Copenhagen which begins on the 2nd of July 2017.

Research Highlight

Dr Stephen Mansell presented a poster on his group's recent work developing new catalysts for hydrogen-transfer and hydrogen-borrowing reactions, including upgrading ethanol to the advanced biofuel isobutanol, at the Royal Society meeting: Providing sustainable catalytic solutions for a rapidly changing world. For more details see their open Access publication A Ruthenium(II) Bis(Phosphinophosphinine) Complex as a Precatalyst for Transfer-Hydrogenation and Hydrogen-Borrowing Reactions, Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 6172.

MChem Day 2017

Thanks to all who took part in a very successful MChem Day on 3 May. Final year student on MChem in house degrees showcased results from their research projects. There were many high quality talks and posters, and the following winners were voted by the students: (in order from top to bottom below) Nikol Kaderabkova and Diana Jelenova for the best posters, and Alana Smith and Maksymilian Roman for the best talk in each of the parallel sessions. Well done!

Nikol Kaderabkova

Diana Jelenova

Alana Smith

Maksymilian Roman