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Department of Chemistry

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Drilling through Cell Membranes

Dr Robert Pal collaborated with US researchers on the successful opening of cell membranes by using light to activate molecular nanomachines. Cells were killed rapidly due to these activated motors puncturing their membranes by drilling through. Such machines show great promise in destroying cancer cells. This study is published in the highly respected journal Nature.

(8 Sep 2017) » More about Drilling through Cell Membranes


Nicole Richardson awarded poster prize

Congratulations to recent Durham Chemistry graduate Nicole Richardson, who won the Learning Science poster prize 2017 at the recent Variety in Chemical Education / Physics Higher Education national conference in York. Nicole’s poster, presented at her first academic conference, was pitted against all the other delegates, including academic staff from institutions across the UK and beyond, and impressed the judges with both its clarity of presentation and research content. The winning poster summarised the work Nicole carried out during her fourth year chemical education research project with Dr Robson, completed as part of her MSci degree in Chemistry and Physics. Nicole’s work investigated students’ approaches to problem solving in physical chemistry, and her prize included a new Amazon Fire tablet. Well done, Nicole!

(4 Sep 2017)


Karl Coleman is the new Head of Department

The Department is delighted to welcome Professor Karl Coleman as Head of Department for the next three years. Karl graduated with a chemistry degree from Leicester University, held an individual Marie Curie Research Fellowship in Strasbourg, France then a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He joined Durham Chemistry in 2004 and was promoted to a Reader in 2008 and Chair in 2012. Karl has held a number of leadership roles including Director of Research in the Chemistry Department.

(31 Jul 2017) » More about Karl Coleman is the new Head of Department


Durham Chemistry to combat Tropical Diseases

Academics from the Department of Chemistry (Graham Sandford, Steven Cobb and Patrick Steel) and the Department of Biosciences (Paul Denny and Ehmke Pohl) have joined forces with colleagues from York (Jeremy Mottram), Sao Paulo (Ariel Silber) and Kalkotta (Nahid Ali) to lead an ambitious effort to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTD) with a £8M Global Network. The insect-vector transmitted diseases leishmaniasis and Chagas disease represent huge challenges in endemic regions of South America, Africa and Asia. It is estimated that >350 million people world-wide are at risk from leishmaniasis with more than 20.000 deaths per year while more than seven million people suffer from Chagas diseases in South America alone.

(21 Jul 2017) » More about Durham Chemistry to combat Tropical Diseases


Yousilliya Bunga awarded Electrochem poster prize

Congratulations to final year PhD student Yousilliya Bunga for winning a first poster prize at Electrochem 2017 held in Birmingham University. The prize was awarded by SCI (Society for Chemical Industry) for her poster, entitled ‘Interactions of thiolated gold nanoparticles with lipid membranes’, based on her PhD work with Dr Ritu Kataky. Her research is on the effects of size, charge and chemical modifications of metallic nanoparticles on their interactions with lipid membranes. The implications of the work, was judged by SCI, to have widespread applications in toxicology, anti-bacterial and drug delivery applications.

(14 Sep 2017)


Rising Star Roisin Monaghan

Congratulations to Roisin Monaghan who won the Bill Bryson prize for Communication in Science at Rising Stars Research Symposium. She gave an excellent oral presentation on 'the synthesis of aryl and vinyl sulphides via visible light photoredox catalysis'. She carried out her undergraduate international research project with Dr Polyzos at Melbourne University, Australia.

(29 Jun 2017)