Comings and Goings

So it’s been a hectic couple of months, and this is a little late, but the group has stepped forward another year, and there have been a few changes recently:

Godi passed her PhD viva back in September and left us in October to return to Botswana – she will be truly missed, but her return to the NMR lab and family/friends in Botswana has certainly put a smile on her face!

Claire Dickson  has joined us for her PhD, sponsored by C4X Discovery, and is rapidly learning the ins-and-outs of nJCH measurements, a bit of synthesis and now Xray crystallography…. she’s in for a fun few years!

Tom Leman hasn’t quite got around to leaving yet – in fact he’s signed up for another year of NMR, undertaking an MSci(Res) looking at new ‘Karplus equations’ for 2-bond CH couplings… he’s already turned up a couple of interesting empirical facts, so we’re looking forward to seeing where this all goes.

Lydia, Alice, Toby and Ben have also joined the ranks to undertake their final year research projects being overseen by Jess, Tom, Claire and Iyke respectively…. somebody save them…….

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Jess and Steph surpassed themselves with some amazing NMR analysis on exquisite compounds prepared by Matt Burns (supervised by Prof. Varinder Aggarwal), and building on calculations by Dr Stephanie Essafi (Prof. Jeremy Harvey). The end result formed the basis of a paper published in Nature recently – Check it out!!

Absolutely outstanding folks, well done!

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Iyke Wins!

Ikenna Ndukwe has won the 2014 prize for best oral presentation at the Royal Society of Chemistry NMR Discussion Group postgraduate meeting held in Nottingham earlier this week! Iyke’s talk on “Sensitivity and Resolution Enhancement in EXSIDE and band-selective EXSIDE” was really well received by the attendees, and he has been invited to now present the work at the RSC NMRDG Christmas meeting in London in December. 

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Industrially-sponsored PhD Studentship available

The following post has now been filled. Thanks to all those who expressed interest.

We have a PhD studentship available, in collaboration with C4X Discovery investigating “Spectrum to Structure – Improving NMR methods to solve 3D molecular structure in solution”.

Background: Ligand-based drug design relies very heavily on understanding and mimicking the 3D structure and dynamics of molecules in solution. Even with modern NMR methods however, working out conformation (and stereochemistry if it is unknown) is often a challenge to both chemists and spectroscopists alike – and when you have a flexible molecule with multiple conformations, the challenge increases by an order of magnitude.

Project Outline: This project will develop new NMR-based methods to elucidate 3D molecular structure – primarily targeting new experimental approaches and treatments of H-C couplings and NOEs, allowing improvements to the advanced computational technologies developed by C4X Discovery to target drug-like molecules of interest. During the PhD, you will work with a mixture of NMR method development, data analysis, computational chemistry, and it will include a multi-month placement at C4X Discovery to apply your results in their drug discovery program.

Informal enquiries can be directed to

You can apply from here

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Welcome to new group members!

We have had five new members join the group in October. Jess Bame, our US-attache begins her PhD examining NOE-Distance relationships and their applications to molecular conformational and structure determination in solution. Steph BullNicky KilburnThomas Floyd and Thomas Leman all start their final year research projects examining NOE/J-based structure analysis, constant-time HMBC, and applications of 60MHz NMR to undergraduate education. We’re looking forward to a great year ahead!

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Catharine passes her viva!

Catharine screamed (not literally) through her PhD viva with Prof. Gareth Morris and Dr Matt Crump – with minor corrections to come before Doctor-hood becomes hers. Well done Catharine, now just a short post-doc, house-moving and a wedding to get through in the next couple of months……

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Iyke joins the group

Ikenna Edward Ndukwe has joined us from his native Nigeria to undertake his PhD research making Improvements (we hope!) to Small Molecule NMR Experiments. Welcome to the mad-house Iyke – we hope you enjoy it!

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Automated 3D Structure Elucidation – Dream or Reality…..?

Some of our ongoing work in Automated 3D Structure Elucidation – directly from NMR data – has been discussed in an article in the RSCs “Chemistry World”. We’ve included a video demonstration of our the prototype software in action – which you can now view here:

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Lies, D*mned lies and citations…..

Wok_Citation_Report2 One can never take citations as the sole arbiter of quality or recognition in academic science, but on the other hand one should never miss the chance to blow a trumpet! Catharine’s recent JOC paper is currently the 5th most cited 2012 paper in Journal of Organic Chemistry (see the screenshot image from Web of Knowledge)….. A similar glance at her recent publications reveal that her Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry paper last year holds a similar top-10 position amongst 2011 BJOC papers….. Not bad at all…….

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Paul passes his viva!

Congratulations to Paul Brown, who passed his PhD viva with flying colours (or at least, they didn’t throw him out!) and is now ready to skip across the ditch to his post-doctoral position in Boston in the new year. He’s had a great PhD – supervised by Julian Eastoe and myself (I’ll take the credit, while Julian did the hard work), undertaken some fantastic research, developed his own and his colleagues skills enormously and published profusely (with a couple more on their way…. watch this space).
Congrat’s mate – sorry to see you go!

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