Welcome from the TG Group!

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The TG Supramolecular and Medicinal Chemistry Research Group is based in the School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin and is at the cutting edge of research into supramolecular structures, sensor design and materials development. The principal investigator is Professor Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson.

The TG Group is housed in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), as part of the School of Chemistry. The School is divided between several institutes on and near the main campus, such as the Chemistry Building, the Sami Nasr Institute of Advanced Materials (SNIAM), the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) and TBSI (Map).

Make sure to follow our news and updates below:

Senior Sophisters Complete thier Capstone Projects

A massive congratulations is owed to Declan, Rory, and Tara who have recently completed their final year undergraduate Capstone projects with the Gunnlaugsson group. Even with restricted acess to the lab due to Covid-19 restrictions they worked exceedingly well and did us all proud! Wishing them the best of luck in the future wherever it may take them!

New Group Member

We are very happy to announce the addition of a new postdoctoral rearcher to the group, Dr. Ena Luis. Ena completed her PhD in 2019 at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her work in the group of Prof. Jonathon Beves involved metallosupramolecular self-assembly and photoredox chemistry of ruthenium complexes. In mid-2020, she moved to Queensland University of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher probing interlocked structures in the gas phase with Dr Kathleen Mullen. Ena joins the group as an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow and is excited to continue exploring complex assemblies—this time, in the solid state. Welcome to the team!

New Addition to the TG group!

Warmest of welcomes to our new postdoctoral researcher Helen! Having completed her BSc at University College Dublin where she worked on spin crossover ionic liquids under the supervision of Dr Grace Morgan for her final year project. In 2014, she moved to The University of Edinburgh for her PhD studies with Prof. Euan Brechin, where she focussed on magnetic coordination capsules. In 2017, she joined Dr Paul Lusby’s group as a PDRA, synthesising supramolecular capsules for use in catalysis and/or as molecular qubits. She joins the group as an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow and will be synthesising supramolecular complexes for the sensing of pollutants.

New Group Members

Warmest of welcomes to Laura and Connie, our newest additons to the team!

Laura recently graduated with a BSc at Universidad Alcalá de Henares. She joined the group last year as an Erasmus student for her undergraduate project based on glycosylated Naphthalimides probes for imaging tumour cells following ADEPT mechanism. Laura has been granted the Trinity College Dublin Postgraduate Research Studentship (1252), so she has rejoined the group as our newest PhD student. Her project will be based on the development of sugars/aminoacids naphthalimides Tróger’s base derivative probes for the imaging of P-Selectin in Inflammatory Disease.

Connie is a MSc student currently working on naphthalimides based on aggregation-induced emission in the TG group. She studied Medicinal Chemistry at NUI Galway for her undergrad and in her third year of BSc she attended the University Grenoble Alps as an Erasmus student. She has previously worked as an intern on Alzheimer’s research under Professor Sabine Chierici during her Erasmus at UGA and has carried out research on metal-based complexes at NUI Galway for her final year project and summer work experience (cisplatin and gold complexes). She is half irish, half Icelandic and grew up in Belgium before moving to Ireland for university.

3rd Year Talks 2020

A massive congratulations to all the PhD students from TCD and UCD who spoke in the Annual 3rd Year talks, especially to our own June Lovitt who gave an incredible presentation on her work!

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Trinity College Dublin PhD Outreach Symposium

Today our first year PhD student Patrick had the great opportunity to take park in the TCD Outreach Symposium, in which he, along with Susie Calvert and Ellen Fay from the McGouran Lab, presented a prospective public outreach demonstration on the “Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide using Baker’s Yeast : A Read-Out of Enzymatic Activity​”. A special thanks to Dr. John O’Donoghue​, Dr. Carl Poree,​ Dr. Noelle Scully​ and co. for organising such a great event, and congratulations to all students involved for their amazing presentations!

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Inspiring the next generation of STEM

Deirdre recently completed a seven week tutorial programme with students in her former secondary school with the Scholars Ireland Programme. While on the programme, she developed and delivered small group tutorials based around smart anticancer agents and light activated chemistry. A recent case study  revealed just how impactful this programme was, with one of the pupils deciding to pursue chemistry for the leaving certificate after completing it! Read more about the case study here. Congratulations to Deirdre for inspiring the next generation of STEM students!

New Members in the Group!

Warmest of welcomes to Chloé and Gianluca, the two newest memebrs of the TG group!

Chloé has joined us all the way from Paul Sabatier University Toulouse, as part of her third year placement, and will be working with Tröger’s base naphthalimides.


Gianluca recieved his B.Sc from the University of Genoa, and is currently on placement with the group while obtaining his M.Sc in the University of Bologna.. He will also be working on Tröger’s base naphthalimides.


New Publication in Inorganic Chemistry:

Many congratulations to Dawn E. Barry, who in collaboration with Komala Pandurangan, Aramballi Jayant Savyasachi, Robert D. Peacock (University of Glasgow) and Jonathan A. Kitchen (Massey University) and their contribution: “Formation of enantiomerically pure luminescent triple-stranded dimetallic europium helicates and their corresponding hierarchical self-assembly formation in protic polar solutions” accepted for publication in Inorg. Chem. (DOI:10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c00058). The work was supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and demonstrates the use of lanthanide directed synthesis of supramolecular structures from chiral organic ligands, and their application in the formation of higher order (hierarchical) structures (microparticles) which were analysed using  high-resolution imaging facilities here at the AML unit (part of AMBER and CRANN).


  1. Many congratulations to Jason on his paper “Aggregation induced emission (AIE) active 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide-Tröger’s base for the selective sensing of chemical explosives in competitive aqueous media”, which has been accepted in Chem. Commun., (DOI: 10.1039/c9cc08457f). The synthesis of the target ligand (shown below) and all the sensing/supramolecular/materials aspects of the work was carried out by Jason in collaboration with Prof. Sankarasekaran Shanmugaraju (Raju) from the Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, Kerala (https://iitpkd.ac.in/people/shanmugam) and Oxana (form the TG research group), while the computational part of the work was overseen and executed by Deivasigamani Umadevi in collaboration with Prof. Graeme W. Watson from the School of Chemistry. This work, once again, demonstrates the versatility of the naphthalimide-Tröger’s base building unit within supramolecular chemistry.

Website photo 2 07-02-2020

New Addition to the Group!

The group would like to welcome Reni as our newest team member! Reni is currently on placement with the TG group as part of her M.Sc with the Humboldt University of Berlin. During her stay she will be conducting research on Tröger’s base naphthalimides!