Welcome from the TG Group!

Group Photo Nov2019.JPG

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:

Two Inorganic Chemistry Manuscripts accepted in July!

July was an excellent month for the TG group with two manuscripts having been accepted for publication in the ACS journal “Inorganic Chemistry“. Both publications are part of our medicinal chemistry programme where we develop luminescent coordination complexes for targeting DNA and cancer cells.

Many congratulations to Raju (Prof. Sankarasekaran Shanmugaraju) our collaborator from the Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, and his team member Binduja Mohan, who in collaboration with Deivasigamani Umadevi, and our TCD team, Sandra Estalayo-Adrián, Bjørn la Cour Poulsen, Salvador Blasco from the School of Chemistry and Gavin J. McManus from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, headed up the work on: “Design, Synthesis, and Anticancer Studies of a p-Cymene-Ru(II)-Curcumin Organometallic Conjugate Based on a Fluorescent 4-Amino-1,8-naphthalimide Tröger’s Base Scaffold,” Inorganic Chemistry  2022, 61, 30, 11592-11599 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.2c01005).

And many congratulations to our former PhD student Dr. Gary J. Ryan on his publication Hook, Line and Sinker! Spectroscopic studies of bi-modular mono- and bis-1,8-naphthalimide-Ru(bpy)3-conjugates as DNA ‘light switches’.” His work was carried out as part of the TG-groups highly productive and long-standing collaboration with Prof. Susan J. Quinn, at University College Dublin (UCD), that will appear as an open access soon! (Inorg. Chem.  2022, 61, Accepted. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.2c00064).

7th MSMLG Conference

The Gunnlaugsson Group is very happy to have been a part of the 7th MSMLG conference. Many many thanks to the organisers and this years host, Professor Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson for making all of this possible. A fantastic arrangement of talks and posters were presented throughout by researchers around the world.

Well done to the group members who presented their posters (Laura Ramírez Lázaro, Tómas Arnar Guðmundsson, Dr. Ena Luis, Patrick Manning, Dr. Helen O’Connor, Deirdre McAdams and Shauna Donohoe) and delivered presentations (Dr Oxana Kotova, Dr. Adam Henwood and past member June Lovitt).

Congratulations to Tómas Arnar Guðmundsson for his award in this years poster competition. His poster titled “3D-printing supramolecular gel-based chemosensors for the detection of metal ions.”

Dr. Tumpa Gorai’s paper published in the journal “Chemical Science”

Many congratulations to Dr. Tumpa Gorai on the publication of her paper “Hierarchical supramolecular co-assembly formation employing multi-component light-harvesting charge transfer interactions giving rise to long-wavelength emitting luminescent microspheres” in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, “Chemical Science” (DOI:10.1039/d2sc02097a). Gratitude and acknowledgements to the Irish Research Council (IRC), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for financial support, and the TCD School of Chemistry.

This work demonstrates the formation of green luminescent microspheres from the charge transfer (CT) interaction-induced co-assembly of a bis-naphthyl dipicolinic amide (DPA) derivative with tetracyanobenzene (TCNB), and the light-harvesting tri-component self-assembly of CT complex with red-emitting dye, pyronin Y. Confocal microscopy imaging was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Gavin McManus. The X-ray crystal structure analysis by Dr. June I. Lovitt and the theoretical calculation by Dr. Deivasigamani Umadevi revealed the alternative stacking arrangement of DPA donor and TCNB acceptor. This work is directed toward exploring chiral co-crystal for advanced optoelectronics applications.

Ena attends ISMSC 2022

Last week, Ena took part in the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry in Eugene, USA. Ena presented a poster on some of her work on BTA gelators, and it was the first time work from the group has been showcased in an in-person conference in a few years! As always, it was a great conference and many of the delegates are looking forward to the next ISMSC in Iceland.

2022 3rd Year Talks

A massive congratulations to Shauna Donohoe, Patrick Manning, and Tómas Guðmundsson in completing their 3rd year talks this year. They each gave excellent presentations on their research progress thus far. A wonderful contribution to this years Trinity College and UCD 2022 3rd year talk event.

Dr. Oxana Kotova’s paper published in the high-impact journal ‘Chem’

A massive congratulations to Dr. Oxana Kotova for her paper on “Lanthanide luminescence from supramolecular hydrogels consisting of bio-conjugated picolinic-acid-based guanosine quadruplexes” being published in the latest edition of the cell press journal, “Chem” (DOI:10.1016/j.chempr.2022.01.015). Gratitude and acknowledgments to SFI and AMBER for financial support, the TCD School of Chemistry, and the collaborators involved in this work.

This excellent work incorporated guanosine quadruplexes (G4) attached to a mannose-derived picolinic acid ligand, which enabled the binding of Eu(III). As a result, a stable hydrogel with self-healing properties was formed, exhibiting Eu(III)-centered circularly polariserd luminescence (CPL) which was influenced by the helical nature these guanosine quadruplexes. This work can contribute to advancing chiral-based emission and has illuminated many pathways for the structure’s use in several fields. Examples include, monitoring bilogical processes, use in responsive counterfeiting inks for bank note printing and much more.

We’re very excited to see the bright future this work will be directed in!

Welcome to Another New Member!

We’d like to warmly welcome our new visiting research student, Alyssa Spear!

Alyssa Spear is a visiting graduate student from the lab of Dr. Rob Doyle at Syracuse University (New York, USA), a former TCD Ph.D student who holds the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor & Dean’s Professor of Chemistry award.

Alyssa completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and chemistry in 2019 at Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio, USA) where she studied Re(I) complexes for application as contrast agents for fluoroscopic esophagography.  Alyssa is now in the 3rd year of her Ph.D and studies Re(I) tricarbonyl complexes with phenanthroline-naphthalimide ligands as photocatalysts for the reduction of CO2. She will be collaborating with Dr. Adam Henwood and Connie to synthesize a series of naphthalimide ligands, which will be sent to Syracuse where Alyssa can study the Re(I) complexes. During her time at Trinity College Dublin, she will be learning about electrochemistry, aggregation-induced emission, and the corresponding characterization methods. 

New RSC book edited by Thorri in collaboration with good friends!

A new book “Supramolecular Chemistry in Biomedical Imaging” was published on the 1st of April this year! The book (https://doi.org/10.1039/9781782624028) is the 33rd in the RSC Book series “Monographs in Supramolecular Chemistry”, and was edited by Thorri in collaboration with his good friends Prof. Steve Faulkner (Oxford) and Gearόid M. Ó Máille (TCD, now at ERC). The book, which is 330 pages long, consists of ten chapters, with contributions from supramolecular chemists with expertise in supramolecular chemistry, synthesis, spectroscopy, microscopy, physical evaluations, and all kinds of imaging to name just a few of the topics covered! Contributors from TCD included former PhD students from the TG Lab and Dr. Adam Henwood (TG Lab), Prof. Eoin Scanlan and Prof. Yurii Gunk’o, as well as former TCD graduate Prof. Rob Doyle now a Professor at University of Syracuse and Dr. Célia S. Bonnet a former TG-Lab postdoc and now at Chargée de Recherche CNRS.  As can be seen below Thorri was rather delighted to receive the printed copy of the book in the post the other day! A big thanks goes to all those who contributed and to the RSC Books staff for all their fantastic help and support! The ‘Trio’ Thorri, Steve and Gearόid have been friends for many years! Thorri and Steve having been postdocs together at Durham University with Prof. Dave Parker, over 25 years ago, while Gearόid received funding from the IRC to carry out back-to-back postdocs with both Steve and Thorri!

The Group Gets Bigger!

We would like to extend our warmest of welcomes to the newest students to join our team!

Tommaso Ruggiero completed his undergraduate chemistry degree in 2020 in La Sapienza, Rome, and is completing his masters degee in Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna. An Erasmus scholarship has let him join the Gunnlaugsson research group for an internship that will be the starting point for his future thesis. Tommaso’s work in the Gunnlaugsson group focuses on the synthesis of NDIBox and further studies about host-guest chemistry with several characterisation techniques.

Cillian Conville, an Irish student studying chemistry in the University of Bordeaux, France. Cillian has joined the team in order to complete his final year research internship, the focus of which will be on the delvelopment of tripodal hydrogelators, an investigation of their material properties, and potential utilisation in drug delivery.

Tommy Cejmer completed his undergraduate chemistry degree in 2019 at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of applied sciences and arts. Now, he is a MSc student of the Westfaelische-Wilhelmuniversity Muenster in Germany. He joined the Group of Gunnlaugsson for a research internship and will be working on Tröger’s base naphthalimides.