Bjørn presents at the 2017 TBSI Postdoctoral Research Day

Bjørn la Cour Poulsen, a final year PhD student in the TG group, presented a talk about the biological applications of ruthenium complexes at the Postdoctoral Research Day, which took place Friday in Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI). His talk, entitled “Spectroscopic studies of the binding of ruthenium complexes to DNA” covered his work concerning synthesis of a new class of ruthenium (II) complexes and their interactions with DNA as well as their anticancer activity.
Chris and Oxana also presented their work at the poster session, in what was an exciting and engaging day which highlighted the breadth of research in TBSI.

Dermot presents at the 69th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium

IMAG3204Dermot Gillen, a third year student in the TG group, was selected as one of six representatives from Trinity College Dublin to present his work at the 69th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium, which took place over Thursday and Friday of this week in DCU. The conference gathers chemistry postgraduate students from all over Ireland to showcase their work in a highly interdisciplinary setting.

Congratulations to Aoife Lucid from the Watson computational chemistry group in TCD, who won the Lilly prize for her talk on the computational modelling of electrolytes for solid oxide cells.

Fergus presented with the RIA Young Chemist Prize

Congratulations to Dr Fergus Poynton, who was formally presented with the RIA Young Chemist Prize today. The prize is awarded annually by the Royal Irish Academy for the most outstanding chemistry thesis in Ireland.

Fergus won the prize in March for his thesis “Spectroscopic Investigations into the Excited-State Processes and Reactivity of Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes”, he has since won one of the five IUPAC-Solvay International Awards for Young Chemists, and will receive the prize at the 46th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in São Paulo this July.

In a special ceremony in the Academy, the prize was presented by Prof. Pat Guiry, Vice-Chair of the Physical, Chemical & Mathematical Sciences of the RIA. The ceremony was also attended by Fergus’ family and friends, as well as collaborators Clive Williams, TCD and Susan Quinn from UCD, co-supervisor John Kelly and his colleagues from the Donnelly research group in the School of Medicine.

Well done!

Eoin is presented with the Irish Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Award

EoinMcCarney-LindauAwardCongratulations to fourth year PhD student Eoin McCarney, who was selected to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this year by the Irish Research Council. Eoin was formally presented with an award by the IRC to recognise this achievement at a ceremony in the council headquarters in Ballsbridge. Congratulations Eoin!

New publication in Chemical Communications


A sample of the naphthalimide-based hydrogel

Congratulations to Chris and Amy from the TG group, as well as collaborators Kevin Byrne and Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt (TCD School of Chemistry and CRANN) and Dr Gavin Ryan and Prof. Matthias Möbius (TCD School of Physics) for their recent publication in Chemical Communications entitled “A resilient and luminescent stimuli-responsive hydrogel from a heterotopic 1,8-naphthalimide-derived ligand”. This work describes the synthesis of a fluorescent naphthalimide-containing gelator which forms robust hydrogels in the presence of potassium ions. As well as a rare example of a hydrogelator containing no hydrogen bond donors, this material exhibits the useful property of chemical reversibility, where 18-crown-6 and potassium chloride can be used to disrupt or re-form the gel, respectively.

New paper on DNA-targeting phototherapeutic drugs published in Chem. Eur. J.

Congratulations to Fergus and Bjørn on their recent paper in Chemistry a European Journal titled Inosine can increase DNA’s susceptibility to photo-oxidation by a Ru(II) complex due to structural change in the minor groove. Key to the development of DNA-targeting phototherapeutic drugs is determining the interplay between the photoactivity of the drug and its binding preference for a target sequence. In this work, the photoactivity of Λ-[Ru(TAP)2(dppz)]2+ and its binding to oligonucleotides was studied, showing enhanced photo-oxidation when guanine is substituted with inosine, in spite of inosine being less easily oxidised. The work has been performed in collaboration with Prof. Susan Quinn of University College Dublin, Páraic Keane and Prof. Christine Cardin of the University of Reading, Prof. John Kelly from Trinity College Dublin and groups at the Diamond Light Source and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in England.


Structural features of the interaction of the Ru(II) complex with two different DNA sequences.

Dr Helen Burke Graduates


Helen with Barry from the Evans group

Congratulations to Helen Burke, who joined the group in 2012 as an IRCSET postgraduate scholar, and officially graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry earlier today. Helen carried out her research on ‘Synthetic Approaches Towards Thioester-Mediated Bioconjugation and Lanthanide-Based Glycoconjugate Probes’ jointly with Eoin Scanlan, producing several publications, the most recent of which appeared in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (DOI: 10.1039/C6OB01712F).

Since submitting her thesis, Helen has started work in industry in England. Everyone in the TG group would like to say farewell to Helen and we all wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours!