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Durham University

Research & business

Durham Professors win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry awards

(10 June 2021)

Professor Jan Verlet and Professor Jonathan Steed from our Department of Chemistry have been named the winners of Royal Society of Chemistry’s highly-admired Corday-Morgan Prize and Tilden Prize, respectively. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry awards are considered highly prestigious and recognise outstanding achievement by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. The awards symbolise the strong impact and superior quality of scientific work produced by our Department of Chemistry academics.

Corday-Morgan Prize

Professor Verlet received his prize as recognition for his work on electron-molecule reactions. His group have developed innovative methods to analyse such reactions using light and this has allowed them to get new glimpses of how such reactions occur.

His research has gained recognition within formation of molecules in the interstellar medium (the material that exists in the space between the star systems in a galaxy) and electron transport chains (essential to biological function).

Tilden Prize

Tilden prize was awarded to Professor Jonathan Steed for his discovery of special gels as substances for creating new types of crystalline drugs for use in medicines. Prof Steed looked at the formation of crystals in gels, which are mostly liquid, and how this gives new crystalline solids.

His team found that gels can act as a template to give new types of crystals with useful properties such as easier entry into the blood stream.

Symbolising excellence through research

The Royal Society of Chemistry prize winners are highly accomplished experts in chemical sciences, as over 50 past prize winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their revolutionary work.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, has highly praised the work of Prof Verlet and Prof Steed and their contribution towards chemical sciences. She also said: “the winners’ work is a prime example of what we are so passionate about and we are proud to recognise their contribution with this prize.”

Find out more

• Learn more about the Royal Society of Chemistry prize winners here
• Learn more about the work of Prof Jan Verlet and Prof Jonathan Steed
• Interested in studying in Durham? Explore our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in our Department of Chemistry