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First Annual Postdoctoral Conference

The recently formed School of Chemistry PostDoc Forum organised the first conference for Postdoctoral researchers in the school, which was held on 18th December 2015.

The conference was designed to showcase the work being carried out by the postdoctoral community and to encourage further networking and collaboration within the department.

In total a third of the postdoctoral community from the school were involved in presenting research and the conference was well attended by academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from all chemical disciplines.

In addition to key funding received from the Royal Society of Chemistry, generous sponsorship was also provided for prizes by Sigma Aldrich and Lhasa Ltd. First prize for the best oral presentation was awarded to Dr Flora Thorp-Greenwood for her presentation on “The evolution of copper: increasing complexity in metallosupramolecular architectures of cyclotriguaiacylene”, with Clare Mahon and Martin McPhillie receiving runner up prizes.  First prize for the best poster and flash presentation went to Dr Danielle Miles for her poster entitled “Hybrid Peptide:Glycosaminoglycan hydrogels as an injectable intervention for spinal disc degeneration”, with Meryem Benohoud and Gemma Wildsmith receiving runner up prizes.

For more information about the PostDoc Forum please visit:

December graduation

Congratulations to everyone who was awarded their degree at the recent ceremony.

Students from our undergraduate and taught MSc courses received their degrees, together with a number of people who had completed study for a PhD.

After the ceremony the School hosted a reception for graduates and their guests.

Transforming drug discovery

The School of Chemistry is leading a £3.4M programme that will facilitate the discovery of new drugs against protein-protein interactions.

Currently, only a handful of drugs in clinical use work by targeting protein-protein interactions.

There are thought to be as many as 600,000 protein-protein interactions that could be targets for new drugs but we don’t know which ones are most important, what is crucial for their interaction and how to target them.

This new project, which will launch on 1 February, 2016, will involve researchers from the University of Leeds, the University of Bristol and three drug discovery organisations: the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University; AstraZeneca; and Domainex.

The project is led by Professor Andy Wilson, and will also involve Professor Adam Nelson from the School of Chemistry.

See the full news story.

To the stars with Principia

British astronaut, Tim Peake, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today, Tuesday 15th December, on his Principia Mission to the international space station (ISS).

In his scheduled 6-months on the ISS, Tim will be engaged in various outreach activities supported by the UK Space Agency (UKSA). In addition to their own activities, the UKSA has funded nine community-based organizations to help support the outreach potential from the Principia Mission, including the Astrobiology Society of Britain, whose current president is Dr Terry Kee of the School of Chemistry.

You can find out more about what Terry and the ASB plan to do through their STARS (Space TARgets Science) Project

Science as Art

A picture submitted to the Science as Art competition at the Materials Research Society 2015 Fall Meeting in Boston, entitled “Mesacrystal”, won 1st place.

The image, created by David Green, is a false coloured scanning electron micrograph of a modified calcite single crystal, stylised to resemble intricate mesas and outcrops at dusk.

This image was exhibited as part of the annual Meldrum Group art gallery hosted by the North Bar, Leeds, between November 2014 and January 2015. This year’s exhibition is currently on display.

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