Bioactive Chemistry in Durham
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 the undergraduate course to research grant levels. This has been achieved. Money was secured for buildings, laboratories and infrastructure (mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, radiochemistry, clean rooms, controlled temperature facilities) and scientists moved in to take advantage.
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 undergraduate program. A named route was engineered in the Natural Sciences programme: Chemistry and Biology.
Postgraduate students have made important contributions across the two disciplines and numerous joint-PhD students in bioactive chemistry have completed to date.
There are significant numbers of collaborative research grants held and many more informal interactions that have arisen because of the Centre.
Three Advanced Research Fellowships were established in areas of mass spectrometry, light microscopy/spectroscopy and analytical chemistry. We lobbied for staff in the area and made new lectureship appointments aligned to the interface that has been created.
The research collaborations established by the Centre are now fully aligned with the Biophysical Sciences Institute, which was established in June 2007.