Can we use poetry to communicate our science to the public? That was one of the questions asked at this year’s Cúram retreat in Athlone, along with other interesting challenges pertaining to our research and outreach activities. Congratulations to Liam and Neville on their election as graduate student representatives and a big thank you to the organisers – it was very inspiring to hear about the varied strands of research being carried out in Cúram and to get a ‘real world’ perspective from the members of the advisory board.
If you’re wondering how our attempts at poetry went – the answer is: Not Great, Not Terrible. Thanks to team Drug Delivery (Joe Byrne, Manita Dangol, Liam Fitzgerald, Jose Antonio Monterru, Neville Murphy) for their contributions to this work of art, and to Neville for the video.
Liam presenting his research at the Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium, TU Dublin / RCSI, June 2019.
Congratulations to An Cumann Ceimice (Chem Soc) who organised a great careers day for science students on Tuesday, showcasing academic and industrial job opportunities for NUIG graduates. Our own Liam and Arann presented current work from the O’Duill group in a lightning talk and poster, respectively.
Denis Lacroix, who is currently studying for his Masters in Industrial Chemical Engineering at the Meurice Institute in Brussels, has joined the group on a six-month ERASMUS project. He will continue Maria’s project on directing groups in C—H activation and is already putting his excellent practical skills to use in the lab. We look forward to working with Denis!
The O’Duill group had a lovely evening of fun and food at our Christmas Dinner last Thursday, together with the Burnell, Farràs and Myers groups. An early start the next morning took us to Dublin for the 17th Annual Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB) Symposium at the RCSI with great science from Professors Jonathan Nitschke, Chris Braddock, Kevin Booker-Milburn, Ed Tate and Helma Wennemers. We’ve already bookmarked this event again for next year!
Applications for the NUI Galway Hardiman PhD Scholarships are now open for students starting their PhD in September 2019. Successful applicants will be fully funded for four years, with a stipend of € 16,000 p.a. plus fees. For more information on the scholarship, see the NUI Galway website (application deadline: February 15th, 17:00 GMT). Students interested in applying for this scholarship for a PhD in the O’Duill group should contact Miriam at miriam.oduill(at)nuigalway.ie
A 4-year Ph.D. studentship, starting in January 2019, is available in the area of transition-metal catalysis, focusing on the development of novel deuteration methodology for biomolecules and drug targets. The studentship, which is funded by the College of Science, NUI Galway, covers EU tuition fees and includes a tax-free annual salary of €12,000. Candidates will be expected to hold a Master’s degree or a very good Bachelor’s degree in a related area before the start of the studentship.
Interested candidates are asked to submit a full application containing a cover letter, CV, and two letters of recommendation to miriam.oduill(at)nuigalway.ie or by post to Dr. Miriam O’Duill, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, H91 TK33, Ireland by December 18th 2018. Informal enquiries are welcome at any time.
Project description: Deuteration of bioactive molecules is a crucial tool for biomolecular analysis techniques (neutron diffraction, 2D NMR, hydrogen exchange mass spectroscopy) and the pharmaceutical industry (ADME studies, deuterated drugs). A diverse toolkit of synthetic methods is necessary to selectively install deuterium isotopes in the molecules and positions of interest. This Ph.D. project will focus on the development of transition-metal catalysed C–H activation / deuteration strategies to afford deuterated analogues of bioactive molecules or drugs that currently require expensive, multi-step syntheses. The research will involve screening for methodology development and organic synthesis of small molecules. The work will be carried out at the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, Ireland (http://www.nuigalway.ie/chemistry/), in the research group of Dr. Miriam O’Duill, who was recently appointed as lecturer in organic chemistry.
After waiting patiently for all of our chemicals to arrive, Maria Moran – who is doing her 4th year project in the O’Duill group – beat the lads to it and set up her first reaction. She also provided us with a good stock of TLC spotters. Here’s to lots more exciting chemistry!
Arann Drohan has just graduated from the Waterford Institute of Technology with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science, which included a final year research project on polymeric drug delivery platforms. Arann is keen to apply his knowledge to developing novel, more easily cleavable directing groups for C–H activation during his M.Sc.
After graduating with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Chemistry from Maynooth University, Liam Fitzgerald joins the group on a prestigious SFI PhD scholarship. In collaboration with CÚRAM, Liam will be investigating new ion-responsive drug delivery platforms. We’re excited to have him on the team!