Group Trip for the TG Group

As the sun is blessing Ireland with great days, the TG group decided to have a group trip in the afternoon. After long consultation, the group decided to go for a walk along the coast between Greystones and Bray. The group meet at Greystones, then followed the trail all the way to Bray, where, after ice creams, a short rest on the beach (with some very brave TGs who decided to have a swim) had a toast to celebrate the great day. Until the next time!

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Elena presents at the 70th Chemistry Research Colloquium at Queen’s University, Belfast.

On Friday 22nd June, Elena represented the Organic Chemistry Department of TCD at the annual Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium at Queen’s University of Belfast, with a talk on the development of glycosylated naphthalimides as prodrugs for medicinal applications. The Colloquium, in its 70th edition, started on Thursday 21st, and highlighted the outstanding research conducted by the best young chemists at third level institutions across Ireland, involving more than 60 students between posters and oral presentations.
Great Job Elena!

Elena Colloquium 2018

Bruno, Hannah and Isabel present their work at the Third Year Talks in TCD

The annual Third Year Talks took place on Tuesday 29th May, so Bruno, Hannah and Isabel, as third year students had a chance of presenting their work. The event, sponsored by Eli Lilly, involved 38 students from TCD, UCD and DIT who presented their research in the Hamilton Building on the Trinity Campus.

Isabel talked about her btp-based metal ion complexes during the Inorganic Chemistry session; Hannah presented her work with bypiridine derivative complexes of d and f metal ions in the New Ligands session; while Bruno talked about his work on f metal ion complexes as indirect probes of peptidic phosphorylation in the Analysis of Biologic session.

Our congratulations go to all the students who participated, and especially to Bruno, Hannah and Isabel for their great job representing the TG group!

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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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Niamh Murphy in Nature article on “Teen spirit in the lab”

Niamh Murphy in the lab with PhD student Dermot Gillen

Future chemist Niamh Murphy, a part-time student in the group, was recently featured in the journal Nature, talking about her experiences working with the TG Group while at school and preparing for university.

Niamh first joined the group for a week of work experience in 2015 and has been returning during the 2017-2018 part-time, working with PhD student Dermot Gillen. Currently, Niamh is working on interesting Amonafide derivatives.


The article by Chris Woolston, in the Nature Careers section describes:

Nature - Teen spirit in the lab“The Gunnlaugsson lab made an impression on Niamh Murphy, who was 15 years old when she spent a week working there in November 2015. “It was like walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” Murphy says. “Everything was so new to me.” Murphy, who just turned 18, parlayed that week-long introduction into a 7-month stint as a lab assistant. She’ll finish that position in May, before starting studies in chemistry at the Dublin Institute of Technology. “I still feel like a puppy running around with a lot of older dogs,” she says. “

To me, column chromatography is so cool. But the postdocs do it every day.” […]  Murphy feels lucky to be in a lab where she can contribute to the research itself. Some teens she’s talked to, she says, have no chance to run equipment or perform other such tasks. She says that students should talk to lab alumni to determine whether the principal investigator will make teaching them a priority. “If you can find someone who is really invested in young people, like Thorri, you’ll be on your way,” she says.”

Also in the article, Thorri voiced his opinion on the benefits of welcoming young students into the lab, the benefits to them and to the wider public:

“We get quite a few requests,” he says. “We take them in for three or four weeks and let them do some experiments. They can see that scientists are not portrayed correctly on television most of the time. There’s a lot going on.” […] Gunnlaugsson says that he never expects adolescents to make immediate contributions to his lab, but he adds that his government grants over the years have imbued him with a sense of duty. “That’s money from the public, so we’re obliged to engage with the public,” he says. “We have to let them know what we’re doing.” Opening the doors to adolescents is an important part of that outreach effort, he says”

The group regularly hosts young students in the lab, as well as contributing to outreach of our own research and programmes run centrally in the School of Chemistry through the participation of a number of group members, both PhD and Post-doctoral researchers.

Well done Niamh for sharing your experience with other students, so that they might also be inspired to find a placement, and with academics world-wide, so that they might consider providing the same opportunities to others!

The full article is available here, and is part of a special issue on Adolescence.


Eoin McCarney successfully defends his PhD Thesis

Congratulations to Eoin, who successfully defended his PhD thesis “Templated synthesis of novel molecules and materials using 1,4-disubstituted-1,2,3-triazole supramolecular building blocks” and passed his viva today. The 40th PhD graduate from the Gunnlaugsson group. Eoin’s thesis was examined by Prof. Mike Zaworotko, a world leader in crystal engineering, from the University of Limerick.

Eoin’s PhD was funded by the IRC and continued the groups work on btp ligands, their coordination chemistry, self-assembly processes and materials applications; leading to 3 publications to date. These interests are continued by Isabel and June in the TG group while Eoin has departed to join the team at Abbott in Longford. The TG group wish him all the best for the future!