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A ‘funny’ cyclic dinucleotide receptor

19 May 2014

Dr Katie Simmons and Profs Colin Fishwick and Peter Johnson have had their recent work describing an inhibitor of the cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel HCN4 published in this month’s edition of Nature Chemical Biology.


This work, in collaboration with Dr Anna Moroni’s group at the University of Milan, combines structural, biochemical and functional approaches to show that cyclic dinucleotides are potent and specific inhibitors of HCN4 modulation by cyclic nucleotides. As part of this work, the authors identified a new binding region on this channel and used virtual high-throughput screening to identify other small molecules which could also modulate channel activity by binding in this newly identified site.  

Partnership award!

29 April 2014

Dr Sridharan was awarded the Extra Mile Award at the University of Leeds Partnership Awards 2014 ceremony.

The ceremony took place on the 28th April at Leeds University Union. The Awards are made based upon student nominations, and Dr Sridharan was selected as the winner from more than 140 nominees across the University.  The Award recognises his outstanding work with students, particularly in the Priestley teaching laboratory.

European Network on Systems Chemistry

28 April 2014

Dr Annette Taylor and Dr Terry Kee are to take part in a new European COST network on Systems Chemistry.

The network brings together over 70 researchers from 22 countries with expertise in the fields of supramolecular chemistry, the origin of life and far-from-equilibrium systems. Inspired by the goal of the creation of life from synthetic components, these researchers will work across disciplines to develop complex chemical systems with new properties and functions. The first COST Action meeting associated with the network will take place in San Sebastian in June.

Further information can be found at:

Prize winner

8 April 2014

Final year PhD student Nicola Webb won first prize at the SCI regional conference.

Organic chemistry students in the final year of their doctoral studies at UK universities (in synthesis, mechanistic studies, methodology, medicinal chemistry or analysis) were invited to submit applications to present their work at this regional half-day symposia.

Nicola who works in Prof Steve Marsden's group said "My abstract was accepted, along with ten other students from northern universities, and we were given twenty minutes to present our research and answer questions from the audience. I presented a talk called 'Vinyl esters as acetylene equivalents: Rhodium(III)-catalysed C-H activation for the synthesis of isoquinolones and isoquinolines'.

Media appearances

3 April 2014

High levels of air pollution have been recorded over the last few days in the UK due to the unusual combination of several factors.

Saharan dust has been transported from the Mediterranean on slow moving southerly  winds which have picked up additional man-made pollution from a variety of European sources. The low wind speeds and high pressure over the UK has prevented the horizontal or vertical dispersion of these pollutants and particle pollution measurements have exceeded the DEFRA Level 10 pollution alert (levels > 100 ug m-3).

Prof Paul Seakins has appeared on several television and radio programmes discussing the origin and nature of the pollution and work at Leeds on how pollutants are transformed in the atmosphere.

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