Bioactive Chemistry in Durham
The Centre has now closed, having successfully met its targets
In 2001, the Centre was established to develop stronger links with the Biological Sciences, and to promote the relationships in a joined up way from undergraduate course to research grant levels. This has been achieved. Money was secured for buildings, labs and infrastructure (mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, radiochemistry, clean rooms, controlled temperature facilities) and scientists moved in to take advantage.
In January 2011 there will be 6 Bioscientist research leaders undertaking research within the main Chemistry building. There are now many examples of collaborative and cooperative research across each group involved. The 4th year undergraduate MChem and MSci students do research projects based on these interactions. We have a module called Bioactive Chemistry in years 3 and 4 of the Chemistry undergratuate program. A named route was engineered in the Natural Sciences programme: Chemistry and Biology.
Postgraduate students have made important contributions across the two disciplines: up to 20 completed PhD students have benefitted already.
There are significant numbers of collaborative research grants still held and many more informal interactions that have arisen beacuse of the Centre.
Three Advanced Research Fellowships were established in areas of mass spectrometry, light microscopy/spectroscopy and analytical chemistry, each funded for 5 years. These were secured based on the premise of senior research support; this has worked. We lobbied for staff in the area and made new lectureship appointments; recept appointments have been aligned to the interface that has been created.
Many of the research collaborations established by the Centre continue within the Biophysical Sciences Institute, which was established in June 2007.