Newsletter

Issue 7
October 2022

In This Issue

  • Editorial
  • Student Profile – Sudeshna Roy
  • Webinar
  • Student Profile – Robin Winder
  • Beamtime to SOLEIL Paris – Nathan Hennessy
  • Dates For Your Diary
  • Contact Us

Editorial

We were delighted to welcome cohort 4 to our CDT on the 3rd of October. We have a group of 13 strong and induction week proved very successful with towers built from straws, rooms escaped from, a trip to Weetwood and much more.

Induction week was meant to be in York but due to the train strikes it had to be rearranged to our hometown at the last minute-a huge thank you to Angela Morrison and Nicole Hondow for organizing everything in time!

Cohorts 1, 2 and 3 are beavering away at their projects, one of our cohort are even in Italy collaborating with international partners.

Our open day is set for the 23rd of November where we will hopefully be enticing new students to join our innovative and exciting CDT.

Student Profile – Sudeshna Roy 

Background:

I come from a town in India called Asansol, and I have obtained my bachelor’s degree in chemistry, from the University of Burdwan. I obtained my master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Glasgow, which increased my interest in organic chemistry. This led me to be more interested in pharmaceuticals, whiskey production and food sciences and explore doctoral positions in these fields.

Why I chose Molecules to Product CDT?:

I graduated from Glasgow in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic and things were quite difficult at that time when it came to applying for any positions. It did, however, give me the time to think about what I would like to pursue. The Molecules to Product CDT was perfectly in tune with my research interests. Not only is it multidisciplinary a program which has developed a good environment of learning and facilitates exchange of ideas but also provides the opportunity to work with the industry, both of which provide ample of information about the current problems we face and ways we can solve them.

My Project:

The aim of the project is to understand how various processing routes influence the stability of amorphous form products, and ultimately identify a route that limits recrystallisation. Analysing recrystallisation within these systems is the key aspect of this project. Identification of the key molecular factors that affect any recrystallisation of the model systems. Long term goal of this project is to develop more general predictive models for the scale up of process effects and recrystallisation of co-amorphous systems.

Other interests:

I love to cook and occasionally bake breads. I enjoy long walks, travelling and love playing with animals.

By Sudeshna Roy

October Webinar

Harrison Johnson-Evans and Emma Thompson presented at cohort 4’s first ever Molecules to Product monthly webinar!

Harrison’s presentation was on his current research:

Four complementary routes to chiral secondary amines are used to demonstrate the union of continuous bio- and chemo-catalytic processes. Through the use of enzyme immobilsation and in-line separations, a heterogeneous-homogenous chemoenzymatic continuous flow system can be used to access drug-like molecules in high enantiomeric excess.

And Emma’s was about her current research:

My research is focused on the characterisation of the properties of Hybrid lipid and block copolymer vesicles. In particular I am examining how the size, dispersity, and shape can influence drug loading and targeting capabilities of a formulation. This presentation outlines a few of  the key steps involved in the development of a novel separation method for Asymmetric-Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (AF4) in order to obtain high retention and separation quality of these vesicles. AF4 can be used in combination with in-line MALS and DLS in order to resolve size and shape information, as well enabling the collection of separated vesicle populations based on their diffusion coefficient that allows for off-line characterisation during further work with this system.

Student Profile – Robin Winder

Background:

I originally studied Fine Art at Humberside University. I then worked as an artist, musician and musical instrument repairer for more than 20 years. I decided to return to education to develop a new career path and further my interest in science. I did my MSc in polymers, colourants and fine chemicals at the University of Leeds. This then opened the potential to explore many different science based PhDs.

Why I chose molecules to product CDT:

When it came to making a decision and choosing a direction for a PhD I wanted to be able to choose from a wide range of projects. The molecules to product CDT was perfect in this regard, plus the ability to work with industry to solve real world problems. The interdisciplinary nature and the team feeling within the program are good and skills are transferred readily between all the post graduate researchers. This makes for an interesting environment with a wide input of ideas and resources.

My Project:

I am working with surfactants and I am partnered with Innospec. The aim is to study the internal crystallisation within a single droplet and the effect change under different drying parameters. Then use this understanding to produce a model so the parameters can easily be changed to produce the required structure, functionality and particle size that is required.

Other interests:

I continue to paint watercolours and play music. I have recently been playing with the group Route de Django who specialize in gypsy jazz and the music of Django Rheinhardt.

By Robin Winder

Beamtime to SOLEIL Paris – Nathan Hennessey

During the final week of September, I and fellow cohort 2 PGR Ameer Alshukri embarked on a research trip to the SOLEIL synchrotron, located on the outskirts of Paris. The lead scientist of the trip was our fellow group member Oliver Towns, with the aim to investigate the crystallisation of Glycine from water solution using an X-ray imaging technique, available from the “ANATOMIX” beamline at SOLEIL.

It was Ameer’s first beamtime, and also Oliver’s first time leaving the UK, it’s fair to say the nerves of flying on a plane for the first time ever were quickly quelled by the humorous nature of one of the flight attendants, who we sadly never got the name of. The rest of the day was spent transiting from Beauvais airport to SOLEIL, about 50 miles away on the other side of the city.

A particular highlight of the week for me was the breakfasts, pastries costing as little as 40 cents were lifesaving! I and Ameer were assigned the night-shift for the week, as the time allocated to use the special x-ray sources is quite precious, hence it’s key to run experiments round the clock, often through the night and into the early morning. Day 1 was mostly spent optimising the experiment set-up, as well as trying (and failing) to adjust my bodyclock for the busy nights ahead.

Day 2 was by far the toughest: arriving at 4pm to then eventually getting to bed at 10am the following day (the thought of pastries at 8am was the fuel that kept me going through the night.) After sleeping through the day (or at least attempting to), we arrived back for the final night-shift at 9pm, and by 8am the following day we were packed up, heading for Paris with roughly 3TB of experimental data to process.

The prompt exit from SOLEIL gave us the chance to do a bit of sightseeing before the flight back to Leeds. We visited the Parc des Princes and Stade Roland Garros, home to Paris Saint-Germain FC and the French Open tennis, as well as the Arc de Triomphe and of course, the Eiffel Tower. Despite a 4-hour delay (classic Ryanair), we made it back to Leeds in one piece, where I would then proceed to sleep for 13 hours straight deep into Sunday afternoon. It’d been a long week!

By Nathan Henessey 

Dates For Your Diary

  • Molecules to Product webinar – 16th of November
  • Open day – 23rd of November
  • The Deadline for applications for session 2023/24 is end of the day on 2nd December 2022 Apply Now

Contact Us

    

Visit our website here

Email us: moleculestoproduct@leeds.ac.uk

Previous versions of our Newsletter can be viewed using the links below:

Newsletter Issue 1

Newsletter Issue 2

Newsletter Issue 3

Newsletter Issue 4

Newsletter Issue 5

Newsletter Issue 6