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Department of Chemistry

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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

Materials in Industry RSC Award for Karl Coleman

Congratulations to Prof Karl Coleman on receiving the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Derek Birchall - Materials in Industry Award. This prize runs biennially - following in the footsteps of Professor Tobin Marks, Northwestern University and Professor John W. Goodby, University of York.

(15 Jun 2017) » More about Materials in Industry RSC Award for Karl Coleman

Joint Durham-York Research Consortium

A research consortium between scientists from Durham and York chemistry departments was launched in May. The symposium titled "Mechanism-driven understanding in complex molecular systems" covered mechanistic-orientated research and capabilities at both institutions and included talks from industrialists. 

The consortium is aimed at encouraging research collaborations and sharing training resources, specialist expertise and techniques and further symposia are planned in the future.

(25 May 2017)

Excellence Award for Dr Pippa Coffer

Congratulations to Dr Pippa Coffer on receiving a Durham University Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award. These are awarded to “staff who have made an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at Durham.”

For more details of the award scheme, see the DU webpage.

Pippa has been instrumental in the redevelopment of the L2 and L3 Inorganic, and L2 Physical Chemistry laboratory courses with the introduction of new experiments, activities, and different feedback methods to enhance student learning. She is also the Level 3 BSc Mentor, supporting Chemistry BSc students in their final year of study at Durham.

(17 May 2017)

Prof Badyal awarded prestigious Tilden prize

Congratulations to Professor Jas Pal Badyal on the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Tilden prize for his outstanding research.


More details on his award can be found at the University website


He became a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and was nominated for the THE awards last year.


(9 May 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)

Methyl radical trapping success

Durham’s Dr David Carty, as part of a collaboration led by Professor Takamasa Momose of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, has succeeded in trapping in a magnetic field the methyl radical, CH3, which is a chemically important reaction intermediate. The temperature of the trapped molecules is extremely low, 200 mK. 

(19 Apr 2017) » More about Methyl radical trapping success

Low cost synthesis of Flucytosine at Durham

Research between the Durham Fluorine group (Professor Graham Sandford) and industrial collaborators Sanofi-Aventis and MEPI in France, funded by the European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI; has led to a new, more efficient way of producing flucytosine, a WHO essential medicine used to treat a common and often deadly fungal form of meningitis in people with HIV / AIDS. Professor Graham Sandford and PhD student Antal Harsanyi (both shown in photograph) carried out the flucytosine synthesis at Durham.

(2 Feb 2017) » More about Low cost synthesis of Flucytosine at Durham

Adams Poster Prizewinners 2016

Congratulations to Gemma Parker (1st prize), Andrei Markin (2nd) and Natalie Mitchell (3rd) in winning the D.B. Adams Poster prizes. These awards, inaugurated in 2014, are made annually in memory of Dr David Brinley Adams (Durham: BSc, 1967 – 1970, PhD, 1970 – 1973, Senior Demonstrator, 1973 – 1975) in recognition of academic excellence in the MChem poster competition.

(16 Nov 2016)