Congratulations to Dr Andres Garcia Dominguez, formerly of the Lloyd-Jones group, who has been awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF).
The Royal Society URF allows postdoctoral researchers to develop their independent career within the UK while demonstrating their ambition and leadership. As part of the scheme, the candidates are supported by having access to a variety of mentoring and training resources from the Royal Society. The fellowship provides the researchers enough time and financial resources to build their own group and to focus on cutting-edge research. These features strengthen the likelihood of the candidate to permanent posts at the end of the fellowship.
Andres's research will develop novel chemical reagents to address challenges concerning the preparation of fluorinated molecules. Fluorine gives small molecules the potential to become powerful medicines, efficient agrochemicals and unique materials. To realize this potential the fluorine atoms need to be strategically placed, and this is in most cases very laborious and economically non-viable. The chemical reagents the new group will design will have the peculiarities of being easily tuned and made of non-toxic earth-abundant elements. These features will make them unique and ideal to select the shape and degree of complexity of the fluorinated group in the final molecule. The research will thus provide a tool to create any kind of fluorinated molecule and will allow to explore in depth structure-activity relationships. This will serve to boost the discovery of new drugs, fertilizers and materials that improve our everyday lives.
I am very thrilled to become a recipient of a highly prestigious Royal Society URF within the School, and I am very grateful to those peers that have provided me advice. The application process has rewarded me with an improved set of ideas and new perspectives for my research. Having this fellowship is a boost to my research because It gives me the flexibility and support I need to address in full challenging ideas and to showcase my potential as a leader.