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City quiz

25 September 2013

Our new undergraduate students explored the city as part of their induction.

Some 130 new students met their pal mentors and set off to complete a quiz exploring Leeds city centre and the University campus.

The event finished at the Faversham with a BBQ (pictures)

Art and Science collaborate in Leeds

23 September 2013

The Optical Harmonica is appearing at Light Night Leeds

Phase Revival: an Optical Harmonica is a collaboration between artists, stage designers, a composer and physical chemists (Professor Ben Whitaker and Dr Mike Nix).

It first appeared in December 2012 and is now being staged again as a part of Light Night Leeds on Friday 4th October between 6pm and 10pm at the Leeds City Museum

For further details see

RSC Carbohydrate Award

5 September 2013

Dr Bruce Turnbull has received the 2013 Carbohydrate Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Award, which is sponsored by Dextra Laboratories, was founded in 1970 and is awarded biennially to a scientist in the early/mid stage of their career for meritorious work in carbohydrate chemistry. Bruce has been recognised for his research on developing new synthetic methods for making oligosaccharides and for his studies on cholera toxin which enters cells by first binding to carbohydrates at the cell surface. In receiving the award, Bruce is following in the footsteps of both his PhD supervisor, Prof Rob Field, and postdoc mentor, Prof Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS, who were given the Carbohydrate Award in 1996 and 1976, respectively.

Bruce presented a lecture on “Synthetic Glycoscience: from Glycosyl Donors to Lectin Engineering” at a joint meeting of the RSC Carbohydrate and Fluorine Interest Groups in Southampton (2-3 September 2013). Other keynote speakers at the meeting were Prof Steve Withers FRS (University of British Columbia), Prof George Fleet (University of Oxford) and Prof Tobias Ritter (Harvard University) who was receiving the 2013 RSC Fluorine Chemistry Prize.

The picture shows Bruce’s Carbohydrate Chemistry Award silver medal.

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

22 July 2013

The 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting took place at the beginning of July, in Lindau, Germany.

These meetings began in 1951 and are held each year to enable young researchers from all over the world to meet with Nobel Prize winners from various disciplines, with the principle of the meetings being to “Educate. Inspire. Connect”. This year 625 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 78 countries were selected to attend.

Cassey McRae, who this week graduated with a PhD following completion of her research project with Dr. Julie Fisher, was nominated by the School of Chemistry and was successful in obtaining an invitation to attend. Thirty four Nobel Laureates including Sir Harold Kroto and Robert Curl who jointly received the Nobel prize in 1996 for the discovery of Fullerenes, and  Richard Ernst, awarded the prize in 1991 for his contributions to NMR spectroscopy, participated in this truly inspiring event.

Complex Life of Sugars

9 July 2013

Researchers from the School took part in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition last week in London.

Dr Bruce Turnbull and his PhD students Tom Branson and Kristian Hollingsworth joined scientists from the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Imperial College and the John Innes Centre to present an exhibit called the Complex Life of Sugars. The team spent the week telling the public about the importance of carbohydrates in all aspects of our lives from the initial interactions between a sperm and an egg, to materials and energy production. The photo shows Tom and Kristian with former MSc Chemical Biology student Mike Rugen (far left) wearing t-shirts displaying the sugar symbols for N-acetylglucosamine, galactose and glucose.

The team also promoted a new glycoscience computer game commissioned by the Royal Society. In “Cell Invaders” you have to construct oligosaccharides using sugar symbols and throw them at various cell invaders to stop them sticking to your own cell surface (somehow BruceT appears twice in the global leader board...). The game won more than half of the public vote for the best computer game at the exhibition and will be developed further by the Royal Society.

TV impressionist Jon Culshaw stopped by the exhibit during the “dinner jacket and decorations” soirée on Thursday evening. Jon raced against Tom Branson in the “Fertilisation Game” and tweeted about the exhibit afterwards.

A great introductory video on The Complex Life of Sugars is available on YouTube. And more information about the exhibit is available on the blog, including an article about the Turnbull group’s work on bacterial toxins.

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