Welcome from the TG Group!


[Most of] The TG Group, in the TBSI Boardroom, September 2017.

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:


TGs present their work at RSC Meeting

Today several members of the Gunnlaugsson group attended the Irish Regional meeting for the RSC Organic Division at Queen’s University Belfast. Thorri presented some of the topics of the group in his talk, “Application of supramolecular recognition in synthesis and self-assembly formations” and Adam presented a poster about his previous work in St Andrews.

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Dr Savyasachi “Sachi” AJ, Dr Eoin McCarney and Dr Bjorn la Cour Poulsen graduate!

As part of the Spring Commencements at Trinity College Dublin, three students conferred their PhD degrees in the Public Theatre: Sachi, Eoin and Bjorn are officially Doctors of Philosophy in Chemistry!

Their contribution to the TG Group has been greatly valuable over the past four years and has led to their theses, Luminescent Self-assembled Supramolecular Polymers and Microspheres based on Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide Derivatives” for Sachi“Templated synthesis of novel molecules and materials using 1,4-disubstituted-1,2,3-triazole supramolecular building blocks” for Eoin and “Ruthenium Polypyridyl Complexes for Biological Applications in Imaging and as Anti-Cancer Agents” for Bjorn! We all want to congratulate them for this great achievement, and wish them the best of luck for all the ones to come. Great job lads, real kings material!

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Isabel presents for ChemSem seminar series at TCD

Isabel presented the work she has been doing so far in her PhD at the School of Chemistry seminar series “ChemSem”, a series that showcases the work of PhD and post-doctoral researchers within the School and encourages interactions between the students, staff and groups.

Her talk was titled “An exploration of the interactions of btp and tzpa with d- and -f-block metals” and discussed two ligands she has developed strongly in the group along with Dr. Dawn Barry and Dr. Joe Byrne (now UBern).

In addition, Isabel interacts with Alkermes Inc., a pharamaceutical company that focuses on CNS disorders, through Dr. Tarek Zeidan (Alkermes, MA) and will soon be spending time with them at their site in Athlone.

New paper accepted in Chem. Commun.

Many congratulations to Dr. Sankarasekaran Shanmugaraju (Raju), Dr. Bjørn la Cour Poulsen (former PhD student), Dr. Aramballi J. Savyasachi, Hannah L. Dalton and Dr. Chris Hawes (now at Keele University, UK) who have in collaboration with Prof. Graeme Watson and Dr. D. Umadevi (School of Chemistry, TCD) have had their paper entitled: “Synthesis, structural characterisation and antiproliferative activity of a new fluorescent 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide Tröger’s base-Ru(II)-curcumin organometallic conjugate” accepted for publication in Chem. Commun.


In this communication, they have reported the synthesis, photophysics and biological investigation of fluorescent 4‐amino‐1,8‐naphthalimide Tröger’s bases and a new Tröger’s base p‐cymene‐Ru(II)‐curcumin organometallic  conjugate;  these  compounds  showed  fast  cellular  uptake  and  displayed  good  luminescence  and  cytotoxic against cervical cancer cells.

The journal Chem. Commun. is published by the RSC and the paper is now available online for early view: 10.1039/C8CC01584H

A joint effort! New review accepted for publication in Chemical Society Reviews

A new review article “Molecular logic gates: the past, present and future” has been accepted for publication in Chem. Soc. Rev. (DOI: 10.1039/c7cs00491e). This review highlights recent developments in the area of developing molecular logic gates mimics and their applications in solution and within/on solid material. This contribution is a collaboration between Thorri, Tony 
D. James (University of Bath, UK), Juyoung Yoon (Ewha Womans University, S-Korea) and Engin U. Akkaya (Bilkent University, Turkey), who have known each other’s for a long time; having worked with A P de Silva, Seiji Shinkai and Tony Czarnik, respectively as PhD students or postdocs. This contribution was written in collaboration with Sundus Erbas Cakmak, Safacan Kolemen and Adam C. Sedgwick.

This is the second review published by this group, the first one being entitled ‘Fluorescent chemosensors: the past, present and future’, which was also published in Chem. Soc. Rev in 2017 (Chem.Soc.Rev.,2017,46,7105-7123; DOI: 10.1039/c7cs00240h).

A new paper accepted on supramolecular self-assembly and coordination chemistry in Dalton Transactions

Many congratulations to PhD student Amy Lynes and Dr. Chris Hawes (now at Keele University) who have in collaboration with Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt and Kevin Byrne (School of Chemistry TCD) had their paper: “Coordination chemistry of flexible benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide derived carboxylates; notable structural resilience and vaguely familiar packing motifs”, accepted for publication in Dalton Transaction. Another fantastic collaboration between these groups of researchers, the paper is available on line at the RSC Dalton Transactions website.