Elena successfully defends her PhD Thesis

Many congratulations to Elena De Calatrava Pérez, who successfully defended her PhD
thesis titled “The Synthesis, Photophysical and Biological Evaluation of Glycosylated
Naphthalimides for Medicinal and Material Applications”. Elena was a joint PhD student of Thorri and his close collaborator Prof. Eoin Scanlan; her work was examined by Prof. John Callan, The Norbrook Chair in Pharmaceutical Science, from the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Science at Ulster University. and prof. Mike Southern as the internal examiner. It was a great occasion, which was followed by a lunch in one of our
favourite restaurants, Pig’s Ear, and a small celebration in TBSI. Elena is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in St. James’s Hospital here in Dublin.

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Elena’s PhD was funded by the SFI and focused on the development of novel glycosylated naphthalimide structures and their application in both medicinal and material chemistry. A large part of her work focused on the use of high-resolution imaging, which was carried out in collaboration with several members of the TG group as well as in close collaboration with Dr Gavin McManus from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology here at TCD. Some of her work has been published in the RSC journals Chem Commun and most recently in the OBC. We all at TG group wish Dr De Calatrava Pérez best of luck for her future!

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

Elena presents at the 2017 RSC Carbohydrate Group Meeting

Elena de Calatrava Pérez presented her work on “The Development of Glyconaphthalimides for Medicinal Applications” at the young investigator session of the 2017 meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry carbohydrate group. Elena conducts this work as part of a close collaboration between Thorri and Prof. Eoin Scanlan. The Meeting featured an exciting array of both industry and academic talks, and was held in TBSI over the 7th and 8th of September.

Cover feature for Elena’s work in Chemical Communications


The inside front cover designed by Elena De Calatrava-Pérez and Amparo Mérida-Navas

Many congratulation to Elena De Calatrava-Pérez on her article in Chemical Communications: Glycosidase activated release of fluorescent 1,8-naphthalimide probes for tumor cell imaging from glycosylated ‘pro-probes’ (Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 13086-13089). The work has been featured on the cover of the journal, which was designed by Elena and her sister-in-law Amparo Mérida-Navas, a trained graphic designer. The work describes the development of fluorescent glycosylated 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide derivatives as ‘pro-probes’ that are taken up into cancer cells upon being selectively hydrolysed in situ by glycosidase enzymes. Elena is a joint PhD student between Thorri and Prof. Eoin Scanlan in the School of Chemistry here at TCD (both based in TBSI) and the work was carried out in collaboration with Prof. Clive Williams from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology (TBSI).

Papers Accepted for Helen and Elena

Many congratulations to Helen and Elena who are joint PhD students with Professor Eoin M. Scanlan on their papers that have been accepted for publication in the RSC journals Organic Biomolecular Chemistry and Chemical Communications, respectively. A great collaboration between the TBSI based groups, involving several other researchers from the School of Chemistry as well as the School of Biochemistry and Immunology:


Glycosylated Lanthanide Cyclen Complexes as Luminescent Probes for Monitoring Glycosidase Enzyme Activity”, Helen M. Burke, Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson and Eoin M. Scanlan, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2016, 14, 9133-9145. DOI: 10.1039/C6OB01712F


Glycosidase Activated Release of Fluorescent 1,8-Naphthalimide Probes for Tumor Cell Imaging from Glycosylated ‘Pro-probes’”, Elena Calatrava-Pérez, Sandra A. Bright, Stefan Achermann, Claire Moylan, Mathias O. Senge, Emma B. Veale, D. Clive Williams, Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson and Eoin M. Scanlan, Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, In Press. DOI: 10.1039/C6CC06451E