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Graduation 2014

15 July 2014

The class of 2014 received their degrees at a graduation ceremony this morning.

Professor John Fisher, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, presided at the ceremony. Afterwards the School hosted a reception for graduates and their guests and the formal year photograph was taken.

Postgraduate Conference 2014

14 July 2014

Last month saw the annual School of Chemistry Postgraduate Conference on June 18th and 19th.

The School came together for two days of fantastic talks and poster presentations for our 2nd and 3rd year PhD students. Prof David Smith of the University of York delivered the plenary talk and the event was closed by a wine reception then the PG ball the following evening.
Congratulations to all who participated and especially to the prize winners Nicola Webb, George Karageorgis and Daniel Foley for talks, and Silvia Rodriguez Marin, Christopher Hone and Nikki Cookson for posters.
We are very grateful to our sponsors the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, the Worshipful Company of Dyers, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Yorkshire Process Technology and the Ryedale Group.
Thanks also to Andrew Brown for the photography and everyone on the PG committee.

Chemical 'Big Data' and Medicine

1 July 2014

A paper just published in PLoS Computational Biology describes how information available in the NMR spectrum of blood samples can used be used to monitor the progress of patients post-kidney transplant.

The spectrum contains signals for hundreds of metabolites, the concentrations of which can be measured as they are modified by the health status of the patient, before, during and several days after organ grafting. The NMR data are complex and require sophisticated computational methods to extract medically-informative patterns.

In this work, which involved a collaboration between the clinical team of Mr Raj Prasad and Mr Paul Goldsmith at St. James' Teaching Hospital, Dr Julie Fisher and Dr Hayley Fenton (funded through the EPSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre for Physical Sciences at the Life Science Interface) in the School of Chemistry, and modellers Dr Sergei Krikov and Dr Emanuele Paci of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, it proved possible to identify patients who would subsequently go on to experience problems post-transplant, several days earlier than by conventional techniques. This is important as such information would help clinicians to decide whether helpful interventions should be made at an earlier stage leading to a better patient outcome.
This work is an illustration of the occurrence of 'Big Data' in chemistry and the need for the development of tools to handle these with the potential for huge impact.

For further information read the article at:

Fieldwork at Cape Verde

25 June 2014

Dr. Hannah Walker and Dr. Trevor Ingham are currently on a tropical Atlantic island participating in ORC3.

ORC3 is the Oceanic Reactive Carbon: Chemistry-Climate impacts field campaign on the island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde.

The project aims to understand the origin of volatile organic compounds and their contributions to secondary aerosol formation over the oceans. The project is funded by NERC and is a collaboration between Dwayne Heard’s group from Chemistry, Steve Arnold and Dom Spracklen in the School of Earth and Environment, and the University of York. Hannah is writing a blog about her experiences, which can be accessed from

Dalton Meeting

18 June 2014

On Tuesday 17th June, several research groups from the Inorganic Section attended the RSC Northern Regional Dalton Meeting.

Carlo Sambiagio from the McGowan group and Tom Roberts from the Halcrow group gave talks on their research in the areas of ‘copper-catalysed synthesis of aryl ethers’ and ‘spin crossover complexes of iron(II)’ respectively. Heba Abdelgawad (pictured) from the Willans group was awarded a prize for her poster entitled ‘silver N-heterocyclic carbene complexes as anticancer agents’.

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