Cohort 8 - 2021

Laura Blair 

Laura Blair 

Originally from Newcastle, Laura completed her Integrated Master’s at the University of York, graduating with an MChem in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry in 2020. Her Master’s project, completed with the University of Seville, involved the development of a series of novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, with the potential application in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  Whilst at York, Laura also completed a project with the Department of Green Chemistry, developing a series of pharmaceutical scaffolds from waste biomass.  Since graduating Laura has gained experience within the pharmaceutical industry, as an analytical chemist with Piramal Healthcare in Northumberland. 

Outside of Chemistry, Laura enjoys boxing, cooking, and going out with friends. 

George Cadman

George Cadman

George is originally from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He graduated with an MSci in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham in 2021. His 4th year research project, carried out under the supervision of Prof. Rob Stockman, involved the synthesis and characterisation of novel polymers and their precursors from terpene-derived renewable feedstocks. His research interests are based on using the principles of green chemistry to develop greener and more sustainable processes, which is the main reason he has chosen to continue research in catalysis on the CDT programme.  

Outside of chemistry, George loves going to the gym, cooking good food and spending time with his girlfriend. 

Jaime Crossley 

Jaime Crossley 

Originally from Hampshire, Jaime graduated from the University of Bath with an MChem in Chemistry. During her degree, Jaime undertook a placement year at the Future Industries Institute in Adelaide, Australia, investigating novel conductive polymers for an industry partner. After returning to the UK, Jaime's Master's research project was focused on Noyori type asymmetric transfer hydrogenation catalysts. Throughout her project she performed kinetic studies using flow NMR and also synthesised ligands for new tethered catalysts. Over the course of her studies she developed a keen interest in sustainable chemistry which she is excited to apply to her research into catalysts at the CDT. Outside of research, Jaime enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, learning to code, and doting on her chocolate labrador. 

Monika Dabrowska 

Monika Dabrowska 

Monika is originally from Poland. She graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Chemistry with Mathematics. Her undergraduate project involved targeted synthesis of N-(4-(trifluoromethyl)oxazol-2-yl)-9Hxanthene-9-carboxamide (TFOX) and the mechanistic review of the reactions leading to the key compound. Under the supervision of Dr Martin Lear, her further research focused on mechanistic studies into transition metal-free oxidation of aryl methyl ketones to alpha-ketoamides. Monika hopes that her interest in studying reactions from the point of view of their mechanism will aid in designing better, more practical, and greener ways of creating known and new compounds. Outside her research interests Monika likes spending time with her daughter Natasha and their three cats. She also enjoys growing organic fruits and veggies on her allotment and long walks in the nature. 

Joseph Driscoll

Joseph Driscoll

Joseph graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2020. His final year undergraduate project involved synthesising drug candidates for the treatment of Chagas Disease (a neglected disease endemic to South America). Following this, Joseph completed an MSc at Cardiff University, where his project involved developing a methodology to study the mechanism and release kinetics of prodrug conjugates with a view to applying the methodology to drug-dendrimer conjugates. Outside of his studies, Joseph enjoys language learning as well as reading, especially history.

Andrew Fox 

Andrew Fox 

Originally from Japan, Andrew graduated with an MSci Chemistry (Hons) degree from the University of Birmingham in 2021. In his third year, he completed a 12-month industrial placement, working as a Process Chemist at AstraZeneca. His final year laboratory project, under the supervision of Dr Richard Grainger, explored the feasibility of photocatalytic generation of reactive diatomics. 

Andrew is interested in improving reaction design, inspired by process chemistry, to improve yield and reduce waste from chemical reactions. He is looking forward to exploring sustainable metal catalysis during his PhD studies. Outside of Chemistry, he enjoys weight training, gaming and travelling. 

Severn Hodgson 

Severn Hodgson 

Originally from Huddersfield, Severn graduated with a Master's degree in Chemistry in 2021 from the University of Huddersfield. 

For her research placement, conducted under the supervision of Dr Daniel Belton, she investigated the liquid phase synthesis of graphene from graphite for incorporation into polymer matrixes. Severn’s research involved replacing toxic solvents such NMP for more sustainable solvents such as Cyrene as a medium for high shear or ultrasonication induced graphite exfoliation. During her dissertation project, under the supervision of Dr Karl Hemming, she explored the synthesis of 1,2,3-triazole/isoflavone hybrids and the anti-neuroinflammatory effects these display. 

Her research interests lie in developing new industrially relevant materials from sustainable plant based starting materials. Outside of Chemistry, Severn is passionate about wildlife preservation being a trustee member of a local wildlife and animal rescue. 

Hannah Mason

Hannah Mason

Originally from Dorset, Hannah, graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a Degree in Biology. Her undergraduate project involved investigating the antibacterial effects of different varieties of salvia. She completed her Masters in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants at the University of Edinburgh.  Her Master’s degree research project was about distributional constraints of the rare montane lichen Alectoria Ochroleuca in relation to climate change. Focusing on protecting the species in the Cairngorms National Park with the aim of using the lichen as an indicator species in future studies. Hannah’s research interest is using plants to make everyday life more sustainable. Currently she is interested in finding ways to replace single use plastics with a sustainable plant derived alternative.  

In her free time Hannah enjoys sewing and being outside. 

Lewis Munro

Lewis Munro

Lewis grew up in a village outside Manchester named Disley. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2021 with an MChem (Hons) Degree in Chemistry. His third-year project involved the synthesis of a highly functionalized chondroitin sulphate disaccharide, investigating unusual reactivity patterns this compound reportedly displayed. During his final year, he continued his research in this area, studying the reactivity and mechanism of uronic acid bridged lactone compounds, supervised by Dr John Gardiner in both years. He participated in the Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) as a student facilitator and coordinator for one year each, leading to a successful application to become an Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

His research interests centre around mechanism and attempting to unlock and induce new patterns of reactivity, in particular to applications in organic synthesis.

In his free time, Lewis enjoys hiking, gaming, baking, and learning to speak Portuguese.

Amy Naylor-Randles

Amy Naylor-Randles

Originally from Liverpool, Amy graduated from the University of Liverpool with an MChem in Chemistry with Research in Industry in 2021. Her masters project investigatated quasicrystals and their properties using single crystal and powder X-Ray diffraction methods. Whilst her year in Industry with Unilever looked at the properties of surfactants and polymers and explored methods of improving their biodegradability using more sustainable chain linkers. Her project also focused heavily on using computational methods to predict the properties of new materials.

Outside of chemistry Amy enjoys Gymnastics, Swimming and travelling.

Hannah Simpson

Hannah Simpson

Originally from Staffordshire, Hannah graduated from the University of Nottingham with a MSci (Hons) degree in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. Her 4th year research project, carried out under the supervision of Dr. Miriam O’Duill focused on site-selective deuteration of bioactive molecules and drug targets. Her theoretical work led onto the potential development of a palladium(II) catalysed one-step cyclisation/deuteration protocol for the synthesis of selectively deuterated furans and coumarins. It was during this project that she realised the potential to make common reactions quicker, more sustainable, and more efficient to carry out in an industrial setting. Her interests include drug development chemistry, catalysis, and pharmacology.

Outside of chemistry, Hannah enjoys socialising with friends, walking her dogs and reading.

Isabel Wood

Isabel Wood

Izzy graduated from the University of Nottingham with an undergraduate degree in MSci Chemistry with a Year In Industry in 2021. She spent her placement year at AstraZeneca, Cambridge, working in the Early Oncology department as a Synthetic Organic Chemist. The role included taking on many responsibilities of a Medicinal Chemist, including: structure-based drug design, compound library design, synthesis of multiple drug-like compounds and synthetic route planning. She also took part in the student-run network ‘AZInspire’ where she learnt beginner Python alongside her work.

Izzy’s Master’s project was based around a previously proposed biosynthesis of a natural product. It was found that some of the steps of this biosynthesis were likely inaccurate,  so Izzy redesigned the proposed biosynthetic route, alongside supervisor Ross Denton.  The feasibility of this new route was subsequently checked with use of the software ‘Spartan’. Using this software, Izzy calculated the relative energies of potential key intermediates and transition structures in the gas phase as well as in polar and non-polar solvents, using the wB97X-D/6-31G* theoretical model.

In her free time, Izzy enjoys Karate, gaming, and socialising with friends at the pub!

News

COP26: How our pioneering researchers are tackling the greatest challenge of our time.

COP26: How our pioneering researchers are tackling the greatest challenge of our time.

29 Oct 2021

A series of short video's, PhD researchers from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemistry