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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New paper accepted in Chem. Commun.

Many congratulations to Dr. Sankarasekaran Shanmugaraju (Raju), Dr. Bjørn la Cour Poulsen (former PhD student), Dr. Aramballi J. Savyasachi, Hannah L. Dalton and Dr. Chris Hawes (now at Keele University, UK) who have in collaboration with Prof. Graeme Watson and Dr. D. Umadevi (School of Chemistry, TCD) have had their paper entitled: “Synthesis, structural characterisation and antiproliferative activity of a new fluorescent 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide Tröger’s base-Ru(II)-curcumin organometallic conjugate” accepted for publication in Chem. Commun.


In this communication, they have reported the synthesis, photophysics and biological investigation of fluorescent 4‐amino‐1,8‐naphthalimide Tröger’s bases and a new Tröger’s base p‐cymene‐Ru(II)‐curcumin organometallic  conjugate;  these  compounds  showed  fast  cellular  uptake  and  displayed  good  luminescence  and  cytotoxic against cervical cancer cells.

The journal Chem. Commun. is published by the RSC and the paper is now available online for early view: 10.1039/C8CC01584H

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.

Dermot becomes a SFI Smart Futures Ambassador

Dermot attended the SFI Smart Futures ambassador training this week at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) head office in Dublin. As part of Smart Futures, Dermot will be teaching secondary school students about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM.

Smart Futures is coordinated by SFI in partnership with a variety of other groups such as Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The training was provided as part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme in which PhD students travel to schools to provide students with hands on experience and a much richer understanding of spectroscopy.


Dermot outside the SFI Head Office at Wilton Place

Secondary school teachers who are interested in having Smart Futures or Spectroscopy in a Suitcase come to their schools should apply online (here and here).

Recently, Fergus and Sandra represented the Gunnlaugsson group at the 12th Nucleic Acids Forum in London, alongside Prof. John Kelly.

Sandra and Fergus at

Sandra and Fergus at the poster session

Fergus gave a talk entitled “Photochemically Active DNA-Intercalating Complexes – Insights by Combining Crystallography and Transient Spectroscopy”, where he presented some of our collaborative work into how time-resolved infrared spectroscopy, coupled with X-ray crystallography, enables us to study the interaction of the excited-states of intercalated ruthenium polypyridyl complexes with DNA and provides new insights into the nature of the binding sites of these complexes. Some of this work was recently published in

Sandra presented a poster entitled “New Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes as Promising PDT Agents in HeLa Cells and Luminescent Probes for DNA”, showing the new classes of ruthenium polypyridyl complexes she designed and their potential biological applications.

2016 RSC Organic Division Ireland Regional Meeting Held in TBSI/TCD

The Royal Society of Chemistry held its annual Organic Division Ireland Regional Meeting in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Trinity College Dublin, on the 19th of May 2016. The meeting was organised by Prof. Eoin Scanlan from the School of Chemistry (TCD), and featured contributions from several Irish Universities. These included Maynooth University, University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, NUI Galway and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

In addition to featuring lectures by Irish researchers, Professor Véronique Gouverneur (Oxford University) presented her 2016 Tilden Prize Lecture. The meeting was attended by a large crowd of researchers with over 30 posters being presented at a dedicated poster session.

Anna Aletti with her prize-winning posterAnna Aletti from the TG group was awarded a prize for her poster about the anion studies on our btp-based catenane, recently accepted in Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations to Anna and also to Fiona O’Donovan (UCC) for winning the poster prizes.

A great day that showcased some of the most exciting chemistry research being carried out in Ireland at the moment.

More info can be found at:

Dermot teaches Leaving Certificate students spectroscopy with the RSC

Students measure the concentration of aspirin in a sample of "blood plasma" with a UV-vis spectrometer.

Students measure the concentration of aspirin in a sample of “blood plasma” with a UV-vis spectrometer.

Over the last few months, TG group member Dermot Gillen has been working with Dr John O’Donoghue Trinity’s RSC Education Coordinator  to bring applied chemistry to secondary schools. As part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme, Dermot has been helping Leaving Certificate students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instruments that are used in both research and forensics. The students work together in teams, using chemical principles and portable spectrometers to find out what killed the unfortunate Dr Green!

After the case has been solved, students learn and can ask questions about undergraduate study in science, career paths in STEM and postgraduate research in Trinity, including the work of the TG group. This week’s visit to Loreto College was the last such visit before the summer holidays. Dermot, Olan and Joana had the chance to run the session themselves in what was a great success!

Dermot, Olan and Joana with the girls from Loreto College.

Dermot (far right), Olan and Joana with the girls from Loreto College.