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!

 

Gunnlaugsson group presents their work at Inorganic Dublin Symposium

Dr. Oxana Kotova gave an oral presentation at Inorganic Dublin Symposium in CRANN at Trinity College Dublin on “Discrete white-light-emitting Ln-based heterometallic assemblies in solution” which has been published in Chemical Science.

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Hannah Dalton, June Lovitt, Bruno D’Agostino, Savyasachi A J, Dr. Samuel J. Bradberry and Dr. Adam Henwood took part to the conference poster session by giving some small presentations of their works, with Bruno impressing the committee, which awarded him with the poster prize. Keeping up the good work!

 

Chem. Soc. Review on Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes

Congratulations to group alumnus, and continuing coworker, Fergus Poynton (now a PD researcher in the School of Medicine, TCD) on their bumper review (over 50 pages in print, 465 references) available now online at Chemical Society Reviews! The review appears in a themed collection on Imaging Agents and was co-written with previous TG group members Dr. Sandra Bright (now HRPA), Dr, Salvador Blasco (now an Associated Professor at CEU Cardenal Herrera University) along with Profs. John M. Kelly and D. Clive Williams (TCD).

The review covers extensively the development of Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes for both in vitro cellular imaging and in vivo therapeutic application, highlighting the diversity and potential of these systems in a variety of complexes. The article charts the developments and exploration of photophysical properties, structural variations and biological studies over recent years and ends with an apt discussion of the concerns and importance of reproducibilty in academic clinical and drug development studies.

Well done to all, this is sure to become an important source as the field moves forwards! Read it now at RSC Publishing.

3 New Articles from Raju published in RSC Journals

Congratulation Dr. Sankarasekaran Shanmugaraju (Raju) on a hat-trick of publication recently out in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, Chem. Commun and Journal of Material Chemistry A.

In Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, working with Chris and Sachi as well as group alumni Jon Kitchen and Salvador Blasco, he reported a novel one-pot synthetic strategy for the synthesis of a family of N-alkyl-1,8-naphthalimide based Tröger’s bases via a nucleophilic substitution reaction of a common ‘precursor’ N-aryl-1,8-naphthalimide Tröger’s base and aliphatic primary amine, neat at 80 °C.

In Chem. Commun the synthesis and structural characterization of two novel supramolecular coordination polymers TB-Co-CP and TB-Cd-CP was described, containing Tröger’s base structural motifs, from a novel V-shaped 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide derived Tröger’s base luminescent scaffold. These are the second examples of such systems, and the first to be structurally characterised through X-ray diffraction analysis, which demonstrated that, in each case, substantial face-to-face π-π interactions prevail the extended structures, leading to 1D-supramolecular polymeric networks. These results are of major importance in demonstrating the application of NapTB in coordination and inorganic supramolecular chemistry. This communication was published in a special issue on “chemosensor and molecular logic”. Also, the work was featured as an inside front cover!    

The very recent article published in Journal of Material Chemistry A, Raju reported a Tröger’s base-functionalised covalent organic polymer (TB-COP) which was used as an adsorbent/molecular filter for the efficient removal of secondary chemical explosives picric acid (PA) from water. The extraction of PA was also clearly visible to the naked eye, where the yellow colored PA solution became transparent upon addition of TB-COP. Importantly, TB-COP could be used to store PA over a long period of time in a safe manner, without any leakage or any significant loss in extraction efficiency. Moreover, the polymer could be reused for several adsorption cycles, as PA could be released back into solution by simply changing the pH of the aqueous media. This makes TB-COP an extremely promising material for the selective and efficient removal of picric acid from water, as well as TB-COP can be considered as being a ‘fast’ and naked eye colorimetric indicator for such analytes.

 

Congrats to Raju and collaborators for these excellent articles!

Sachi’s review on supramolecular polymers and functional soft materials available in Chem

Congratulations to Sachi on the publication of his review “Supramolecular Chemistry: A Toolkit for Soft Functional Materials and Organic Particles” now available online in the journal Chem. The review discusses the application of supramolecular chemistry towards the development of soft materials and exploring their application. The article discusses the progress from the past 10 years of exciting research in the field. He highlights how the supramolecular approach has emerged as a toolkit with remarkable capability for the assembly of rationally designed building blocks, which precisely organize in three-dimensional space to form intricate molecular assemblies as well as bulk material with functional properties. This potential in supramolecular chemistry has emerged as a platform for the discovery of new systems and/or novel applications for existing ones, particularly in soft functional materials.

Have a read of Sachi’s review for free, courtesy of the Publishers Cell Press and Elsevier, until the 29th December 2017 at https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1W1D~8jWHDxiaP.

Well done Sachi and co-workers on your achievement!