We welcome Isabel Klein to the group. Isabel is in her 3rd year as a chemistry student at Barnard College in Columbia University in New York City. She is spending a semester abroad in UCD and has chosen to spend her research experience with the group. She will work on a carbohydrate chemistry project while she is with us, and gain in-depth experience with 2D-NMR as part of the project.
We welcome Jorge Combarros to the group. Jorge joins the group on a 2-month secondment from Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico in Valladolid (part of AmriGlobal). His project is part of a larger EU collaboration, 3DNet, led by Dr Breandán Kennedy (UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute), that involves researchers in the UCD School of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, the University of Valladolid (Spain), and industrial partners in RenaSci Ltd (UK), KalVista Pharmaceuticals (UK), Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico (Spain). There is an unmet clinical need for more effective treatments to halt or reverse eye diseases that lead to blindness (like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and corneal inflammation) with increasing prevalence as the EU population ages. The European network focuses on the exchange of knowledge, people, and expertise to enhance the discovery and development of drugs that target these ocular pathologies. It is funded by a FP7- Marie Curie IAPP grant.
Congratulations to Avene – she was awarded a best poster prize at the CSCB 15th Annual Meeting – Recent Advances in Synthesis & Chemical Biology XV. The annual meeting was held last Friday, in Trinity College Dublin with talks by Profs Steve Kent (Chicago), Franc Meyer (Göttingen), Philippe Renaud (Bern), Darren Dixon (Oxford) and AnnMarie O’Donoghue (Durham). Avene’s poster “Organocatalysts at the Service of Carbohydrate Chemistry” impressed the judges in a large poster session. Well done Avene!
Congratulations to group member Vincent Duong. He was awarded a prestigious NUI Travelling Studentship in Science at the annual NUI awards ceremony in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. He was presented with his award by Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the University. This award will enable Vincent to carry out collaborative research in the University of Bristol with Prof Varinder Aggarwal FRS during his PhD in UCD. As a recipient of an NUI award in 1916, Vincent also received a De Valera Medal, honouring former Taoiseach, President, and NUI Chancellor, Éamon de Valera, to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising. He is pictured with fellow awardees (he is in the blue suit on the right).
Eoghan, Avene and Nathan attended the RSC Carbohydrate Group’s 50th Anniversary Conference this week. The event was held in the University of Warwick on Monday and Tuesday. The highlight of the event was the plenary lecture given by Nobel Laureate Prof Sir Fraser Stoddart. It was great to get the opportunity to see Prof Stoddart so soon after it was announced that he had been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Prof Stoddart was giving his Haworth Memorial Prize lecture, and it was a great lecture. He is pictured receiving his Haworth medal from Prof. Bruce Turnbull. There were also many other excellent lectures. Avene and Nathan presented posters on their research in the poster session and received good feedback on their work.
Our latest paper has been published online in the Journal of Organic Chemistry. The paper is Avene’s first paper, and details her identification of an impurity that was acting as a catalyst poison in thiourea-catalysed glycosylations. The impurity arose from the benzylation of an alcohol in DMF – a procedure that is carried out thousands of times per year all around the world. Despite this, the side-reaction that generates the impurity had not been noted in the scientific literature before. Well done to Avene on her excellent detective work, and congratulations also on her first crystal structure.
The paper can be read online at the link below:
J Org Chem 2016, Article ASAP; DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b01914
If you don’t have a subscription and would like to read the article please email eoghan dot mcgarrigle at ucd dot ie to request a free article-on-request code.
Eoghan has been awarded a Science Foundation Ireland Career Development Award. The awards were officially announced today by the Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD. Eoghan and other winners of SIRG and CDA awards were invited to an event in the Science Gallery where Minister Halligan announced the research investment of €22 million which will support nearly 100 researchers from countries. Minister Halligan said “These researchers will be the next leaders of research in Ireland, shaping the research community both here in Ireland and internationally. “
Pictured are 7 of the award winners from UCD. From Left to Right: Angela Feechan (CDA), Antonio Benedetto (SIRG), Liliana Pasquale (SIRG), Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, Eoin Cummins (CDA), Eoghan McGarrigle (CDA), Yan Yan (SIRG), Simon Kelly (CDA).
It was a good day for the UCD School of Chemistry; in addition to Eoghan’s CDA award, it was announced that Dr Yan Yan and Dr Susan Kelleher had both been awarded SIRG awards.