The oxo groups in the uranyl ion, one of many oxo cations formed by metals from across the Periodic Table are particularly inert, which explains the dominance of this ion in the laboratory and its persistence as an environmental contaminant.
However, research by Polly Arnold and Jason Love and their co-workers, reported this month in Nature Chemistry, describes new reactions of the uranyl that provide unique insight into the contrasting chemistries of the transition metals and the actinides. These reactions are initiated by the addition of a lithium metal base and suggest that the direct reduction of the uranyl, an important step in uranium remediation and immobilisation strategies, competes with C-H activation, a reaction that is more normally associated with transition metal oxo compounds.
13th December 2010
View our new video. Find out what it's like to study with us and the opportunities a degree in Chemistry provides. Our video gives an insight into what you can expect from studying and living in Edinburgh.
Can't view this? Try watching the video on Vimeo instead.
9th December 2010
It is with great regret that we announce the death of Hamish McNab, Professor of Heterocyclic Chemistry. Hamish passed away on Monday 15th November after a long battle with cancer. The funeral will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday 23rd November at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh.
Hamish will be sadly missed by everyone at the School of Chemistry. A memorial wiki has been set up for you to add your thoughts and memories.
18th November 2010
Die Zeit has recently published a new ranking of European Universities, focused on Masters and doctoral study programmes.
We did particularly well in the student evaluations. We were the only Scottish chemistry department to feature and one of only 13 UK universities.
3rd November 2010
ERI's Infinite magazine, their annual review of research and commercialisation at the University, has a feature on Mark Bradley's career. It highlights the success Mark has enjoyed in a career spanning more than 20 years, particularly in the practical applications of his research.
1st November 2010
The lecture, entitled "Putting Pressure on Materials", highlighted some of the high-pressure research conducted in the School of Chemistry and Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with large-scale facilities such as the ISIS Neutron Facility and the Diamond Light Source in the UK.
The talk also described research by other high-pressure laboratories throughout the world. Examples included the effects of pressure on simple elements, on biological compounds such as peptides and pharmaceuticals, on explosives, and on ices. Jenny also described how she is able to prepare new superconductors using the high-pressure/high-temperature large volume press located in the School of Chemistry.
13th October 2010
Alison Hulme was recently announced as the winner of the Chemistry Quality of Teaching Award. This award for the best teacher is voted for by the students and while they had great things to say about many of our members of staff it was Alison that came out on top.
7th October 2010
We recently held the chemistry prizegiving for our undergraduate students. You can see the list of winners here. Well done to all our prize winners!
6th October 2010
1st October 2010
In episode 12 of the 2010/2011 season of University Challenge (screened on BBC 2 on Monday 20th September) Edinburgh played Jesus College Oxford. Edinburgh triumphed with 335 points compared to only 35 from Jesus College.
One of the Edinburgh Team members, Jack Binns, is a 4th year MChem student, currently on his industrial placement.
Oxford also had a chemist on their team.
27th September 2010
Anne Germeroth, from Polly Arnold's group, has won a poster prize for her work on hydrocarbon activation by f-block complexes at the Dalton Discussion Conference, with the title 'Catalytic C-H and C-X Bond Activation'
September 27 2010
Serena has accepted a professorship in the Department of Chemistry at Oslo University. She will take up the position from 1st February next year. Although sorry that we will be losing a valued member of staff we are very pleased for Serena and this is a reflection of the high regard international colleagues have of her research work.
15th September 2010
Congratulations to Paul Lusby who won the recent ChemSoc golf outing. This is just one of a number of events ChemSoc runs throughout the year. They have a cheese and wine evening on the 21st of October, for example.
15th September 2010
Martin De Cecco, from the Barran group, won the Barber prize sponsored by Syngenta for the best oral presentation from a student, for his talk entitled: 'Death and (chemo)taxis: structure function relationships of b-defensins probed by ion-mobility mass spectrometry' at the recent annual meeting of the British Mass Spectrometry Society in Cardiff.
9th September 2010
Perdita Barran, along with Dr Cait MacPhee from the School of Physics and Astronomy, is heading up a three-year investigation into why proteins clump together as we get older.
Many conditions, such as Alzheimer's and cataracts, are caused by these clumps of proteins. The research aims to understand how these proteins bind to one another, which should allow drugs to be designed to prevent them doing so.
6th September 2010
PhD student Paul McGonigal has had double success at the 3rd EuCheMS Congress in Nuremberg, Germany. Paul was one of the runners-up in the prestigious Reaxys PhD Prize and also winner of a penalty shootout competition in Nuremberg's 45,000-capacity stadium.
6th September 2010
The work of Kirsten Strain from Eleanor Campbell's group features in a Chemistry World blog. The blog highlights Kirsten's talk at the 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Conference, picking it out as one of the talks that stood out on the first day of the conference.
2nd September 2010
A team from the School of Chemistry and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility have structurally characterised a high-pressure, high-temperature form of the widely used explosive RDX. The work has been published in Chemical Communications and the article has been selected as a "Hot Article".
See the RSC blog pages for more details.
13th August 2010
Susan Maitland from the CTO has received confirmation that she has been selected to join Team Scotland for Archery in the Commonwealth Games and will be going to Delhi to compete in in the games in October 2010. Emma Downie, a former student in the School of Chemistry, is also in the team.
Good luck to everyone in October!
4th August 2010
Congratulations to Sarah Masters who recently gave birth to her second daughter, Isobel Eloise Masters. Both mother and baby are doing well.
4th August 2010
Hon has been awarded an ERC Starting Investigator Grant. Well done Hon!
4th August 2010
Eleanor Campbell has now taken over as Head of School, replacing Lesley Yellowlees. Thanks to Lesley for all her hard work over the past five years and we wish Eleanor well as she takes up her new role.
1st August 2010
A poster entitled "Palladium functionalised microspheres for intracellular chemistry" by Emma Johansson, M. Rahimi Yusop, Asier Unciti-Broceta, Rosario M. Sanchez-Martin and Mark Bradley has won best poster at the 3rd International Symposium "Cellular Delivery of Therapeutic Macromolecules 2010". Well done to all involved.
9th July 2010
Postdocs Helen Maynard Casey and Jenny Rodgers have made a film entitled 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend' which has been nominated for the SciCast Awards 2010, in the category: Judges' Special Awards. Well done to both Helen and Jenny.
7th July 2010
The implementation of SciQuest's Chemical Manager by Derek Burgess and colleagues in the School has won recognition in the 'Better Ways of Working' section of the National eWell-Being Awards. Well done to all involved.
7th July 2010
Derek Wann was recently awarded an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship. Well done Derek!
21st June 2010
The new interdisciplinary Joseph Black Laboratory for carbon dioxide chemistry has been set up with the help of funding from the University of Edinburgh and the Wolfson Foundation. The lab brings together chemists, chemical engineers and geologists.
18th June 2010
Many congratulations to Sarah Pike (Lusby group) and Paul McGonigal (Leigh group) for winning poster prizes at the 5th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry in Nara, Japan this week. Sarah won the RSC OBC sponsored prize and Paul the Springer sponsored prize. There were more than 320 posters at the meeting so to have two winners from Edinburgh was quite remarkable.
Well done Sarah and Paul!
14th June 2010
Many congratulations to Max von Delius for winning first prize for his talk "Organic Molecules that Can Walk" at the 21st SCI Scottish Postgraduate Symposium on Novel Organic Chemistry, held at the University of Aberdeen on 29 March 2010. This is the eighth time in nine years that a student from Edinburgh has won the national event for final year organic PhD students, a remarkable record of excellence.
14th June 2010
Research led by Colin Campbell could lead to the development of a new test to identify those at risk of developing shingles. The research could also lead to a booster vaccine for those identified by the new test as at risk.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that leads to chickenpox. The research shed new light on how the virus works, enabling improved blood tests to be developed. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and cancer sufferers could see particular benefits from these new developments.
Read more about the shingles research in the Scotsman.
10th June 2010
Congratulations to Alex Prescimone on winning the "European Award for a Doctoral Thesis on Molecular Magnetism" for his work on High Pressure Effects in SMMs.
The annual prize is given to only 3 outstanding young scientists in Europe across Chemistry, Physics, Theory and Materials Science working in the field of molecular magnetism so this is a great achievement. Well done Alex!
4th June 2010
4th June 2010
Eleanor has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Many congratulations!
21st May 2010
The traditional method of finding candidate drug molecules involves screening thousands of natural and synthetic molecules often guided by medicinal chemistry tools. Research by Mike Greaney and Dominic Campopiano could lead to a complementary way of generating potential drug leads. Work published in Nature Chemistry explores the generation and screening of protein-targeted dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs). Two PhD students Venu Bhat and Anne Caniard developed the synthesis of a library of acylhydrazones from carefully selected building blocks in the absence and presence of glutathione S-transferase (GST) protein targets.
The beauty of the dynamic combinatorial chemistry approach is that it is fully reversible and so the DCL is subject to thermodynamic control. Thus, each GST (one from humans and one from a parasite) amplified a single, but different, molecule from the pool of the 10 member DCL. In essence, each protein selected its best binder from the library. In collaboration with Ruth Brenk at the University of Dundee they used computer modelling to gain insight into this selectivity. This initial breakthrough now provides a platform to expand the composition of the DCL, explore new targets and understand the selectivity observed. The full paper can be read here along with a News and Views highlight.
18th May 2010
Congratulations to Dr Helen Maynard-Casely for being awarded the 2010 Physical Crystallography Group (PCG) PANalytical Thesis Prize.
12th May 2010
Congratulations to Euan Brechin who has been awarded the RSC Corday-Morgan medal. Well done Euan!
3rd May 2010
Alistair Martin, a 3rd year Chemical Physics student, has been awarded a "DUO-Singapore Exchange Fellowship Award for European Students" by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Alistair will be spending the 4th year of his degree in Singapore with 5 of his colleagues. He will undertake research in Chemistry at Nanyang Technological University and also in industry in Singapore. This is a well established and very popular option for chemistry and chemical physics students for the 4th year of their "with Industrial Experience" degrees. The group of 6 next year brings the total number of students to take part in the exchange since it was established in 2007 to 18.
The Asia-Europe Meeting's (ASEM) DUO Fellowship Fund aims to promote student exchanges between European and Asian ASEM member countries. The DUO-Singapore Exchange Fellowship is awarded by the Singapore Government to Singapore and ASEAN students studying in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU). The Award, based on merit, is for a pair of exchanges between a university in Singapore and its respective partner university in Europe in any academic field. Each student will be awarded a maximum of 4,000 Euros for one semester of up to four months, which covers airfare, accommodation and living expenses.
28th April 2010
Congratulations to Alexander Graham for winning the Chemical Crystallography Group poster prize at the British Crystallographic Association spring meeting at the University of Warwick last week with his poster entitled 'The Effect of Pressure on MOF-5'.
Not bad for his first conference!
19th April 2010
8th April 2010
Congratulations to Max von Delius from the Leigh group, for winning first prize for his talk "Organic Molecules that Can Walk" at the 21st SCI Scottish Postgraduate Symposium on Novel Organic Chemistry, held at the University of Aberdeen on 29 March 2010.
This is the eighth time in nine years that a student from Edinburgh has won the national event for final year organic PhD students, a remarkable record of excellence. Well done Max!
31st March 2010
The winners of the first Images of Chemistry competition can now be viewed on the Images of Chemistry Winners page.
30th March 2010
The School of Chemistry has been voted runner-up int he EUSA Teaching Awards in the Best Department category. This is the second year we've come second and shows we have maintained our high standards from last year.
The comments received from our students were particularly pleasing:
"I find the method of teaching is very accessible, and almost all the staff are ready to help and give advice."
"The courses are always well organised and course materials are provided promptly. Teaching is always good and we are able to give feedback through Class reps who meet staff regularly and also through the chemistry teaching awards. This year, we have been doing group projects and staff have been extremely generous with their time and are happy for us to follow our own ideas and try new things. Lectures and tutorials are always good and we get enough contact teaching time."
"The most organised department i have witnessed at my time at university. They are always organised, all the staff are approchable. They have fantastic teaching. You get a feeling of making a fantastic choice as a place to get a degree. The DoS system in the best in the uni and makes the department feel very family like. Facilities are also outstanding. Just is the best:)"
"There is a great sense of community spirit, we all know lots of the staff really well, and much better than my friends who are in other departments. The DoS system works really well in the School of Chemistry. We also get to really contribute to the research output of the department as undergraduates, and all the staff are very approachable."
29th March 2010
Research by Colin Campbell could lead to improvements in diagnosing and treating diseases. A new technique involving gold-coated particles and low-powered lasers provides a detailed look at the progress of a disease.
Once the probe is inside a cell, laser light shone on to it is absorbed then re-emitted, causing nearby proteins in the cell to vibrate according to their shape. The changing shape of molecules as a disease progresses, give rises to different vibrational frequencies. Scientists can measure and interpret these vibrations, to understand how the cell is responding to disease.
Dr Campbell said: "By creating a sensor that can safely be implanted into tissue and combining this with a sensitive light-measurement technique, we have developed a useful device that will help diagnose and track disease in patients."
The research, funded by EaStCHEM, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, was published in the journals Chemical Communications, the Journal of Biophotonics and ACSNano.
29th March 2010
Congratulations to Iain Roy, who carried out his final year project in the Lam group, for winning a prize at the inaugural Scottish SCI Undergraduate Symposium at Heriot-Watt last week.
Well done Iain!
29th March 2010
Screening for inherited diseases could now be carried out within 30 minutes thanks to research by Juan Diaz-Mochon. Juan, part of Mark Bradley's research group, says the tests can be carried out much more cheaply than current methods. The new tests could have far-reaching benefits in both research and healthcare.
16th February 2010
Congratulations to Steve Moggach, who has won this year's Cambridge Database Prize for Younger Scientists.
According to the award citation: "The Committee considers your contribution to the development of high-pressure techniques to be of great general significance for chemical crystallography, and the chemical applications shown in your most recent work are impressive and exciting."
Well done Steve!
8th February 2010
The School is running a competition to find the best images of chemistry from our staff and students. Prizes will be awarded in a number of different areas and this is a great chance for all those creative-types to really show what you can do.
The competition is open to staff and students and anyone wanting more details can contact Michael Johnstone.
8th February 2010
A tutorial review from the Arnold group, 'Anionic tethered N-heterocyclic carbene chemistry' (S. T. Liddle, I. S. Edworthy, P. L. Arnold, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2007, 1732.), has been ranked in the top fifty most cited articles for Chem Soc. Rev. last year, contributing to the journal's 2008 ISI impact factor of 17.42.
8th January 2010