From time to time, School of Chemistry staff and students will make the news! Below are excerpts from, and links to, recent news stories and articles about the School of Chemistry from print and electronic media.

CNRS grant to Sani & Separovic

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 11:45pm

Congratulations to Dr Marco Sani and Prof Frances Separovic who were awarded a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) Researcher Visit grant for "The use of NMR to understand the association at cell membranes of proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease". See

Frances Separovic elected US Biophysical Society secretary

Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 12:15am

Congratulations to Professor Frances Separovic, who has been elected Secretary of the Biophysical Society (USA). Frances will begin her four year term on 1 July 2015. She has been a member of the Society since 1985. The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, monthly journal, and committee and outreach activities. Its 8900 members are located throughout the USA and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry.

ChemComm introduces Rachel Caruso as Associate Editor

Thursday, 31 July 2014 - 8:30pm
Assoc Prof Rachel Caruso, from the School of Chemistry, is a new Associate Editor of the RSC journal, Chemical Communications. Rachel is a materials chemist with expertise in the fabrication of advanced porous functional materials. She is now accepting submissions to ChemComm in the area of materials chemistry. Submit your next top-notch, high-impact Communication to Rachel Caruso's Editorial Office.

2014 Selby Research Award to Lars Goerigk

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - 2:30pm

The School of Chemistry congratulates ARC DECRA Fellow, Dr Lars Goerigk who is receipient of the 2014 Selby Research Award for his research program entitled, “Quantum-chemical optimization of DNA structures and related compounds”. See

Marine Corrosion & Fouling Conference poster prize

Friday, 18 July 2014 - 9:00pm

Congratulations to Jaimys Arnott from the Lamb group who won the top award for a poster presentation at the 50th Anniversary "International Congress on Marine Corrosion and Fouling" held in Singapore. This continues a winning streak for the group having picked up the same prize a couple of years earlier at the previous convention held in Seattle.

Chancellor’s Prize to Chemistry PhD student

Friday, 11 July 2014 - 8:30am

The School of Chemisty congratulates Brandon MacDonald who has been awarded a Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD thesis for 2013. Brandon completed his PhD, entited "Solution Processed CdTe Nanocrystal Solar Cells”, under the supervision of Prof. Paul Mulvaney in the Nanoscience laboratory and Dr Jacek Jasieniak at the CSIRO, a former winner (2007). Brandon published 6 papers in high quality journals on the fabrication of a new form of photovoltaic device, which exhibited up to 10.4% energy conversion efficiency. The concepts were patented by CSIRO and the  University of Melbourne. After completion of his PhD, Brandon joined QD Vision, a Boston start-up company developing quantum dot LED displays. There were 590 PhDs completed in 2013 and the prizes are awarded according to faculty groupings. Further information on the prize and a list of past winners can be found on the MSGR website.

Donnelly & Paterson research featured in Angew. Chem.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 3:45pm

Research by Dr Brett Paterson and Dr Paul Donnelly has been published in Angewandte Chemie. The team, in collaboration with Christoph Hagemeyer and Karen Alt from Baker IDI Institute, used enzyme-mediated bioconjugation for the site-specific incorporation of a radioactive metal complex into an antibody that is selective for activated platelets. The new immunoconjugates were radiolabeled with the positron-emitting isotope Cu-64 and were used for diagnostic imaging of carotid artery thrombosis using positron emission tomography. For more information see

Gavin Reid - new Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry

Monday, 30 June 2014 - 3:00pm

Professor Gavin E. Reid this week joined the School of Chemistry and is establishing his laboratories at the Bio21 Institute. Gavin joins us from Michigan State University (MSU) and has a joint appointment with Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Over the past 25 years, Gavin has held a variety of technical research positions and academic appointments in Australia and the USA. He then obtained a PhD in Chemistry in 2000 from the University of Melbourne, under the joint supervision of Prof. R. O’Hair and Prof. R. Simpson. From 2000-2002, he carried out post-doctoral research with Prof. S. McLuckey at Purdue University, prior to establishing his independent research career as an Assistant Member at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He then moved to MSU in 2004 as an Assistant Professor, where he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2009. Research in the Reid laboratory at MSU was broadly focused on: (i) the development of novel chemical, bio-analytical and mass spectrometry based methods and instrumentation for proteome and lipidome analysis; and (ii) the application of these strategies to identify biomarkers for the onset and progression of disease.

Crystallography exhibition to open in late July

Monday, 23 June 2014 - 3:15pm

Reflections: tales from within the crystal

Crystallography exhibition, Ground Floor, School of Chemistry from Saturday 26th July 2014

Crystals have long captivated humankind, from ancient healing remedies and myth and legend, to modern fashion trends and industrial applications.

Scientific interest in crystals was piqued over 400 years ago by Johann Kepler who detailed the beautiful symmetry of ice crystals. By the 20th century, scientists discovered that X-rays could be used to determine the arrangement of the atoms which comprise the crystal, creating the field of Crystallography.

This exhibition celebrates the International Year of Crystallography bringing together crystal specimens, models and instruments used throughout history to solve the mysteries that lie within the crystal.

For more information about the Chemistry Cultural Collection visit:

Image description: Crystal axis models, wire on wooden base, 19th century (Chemistry Cultural Collection item CH19.d)

IRRTF grant awards to Chemistry staff

Thursday, 12 June 2014 - 9:15pm

Congratulations to Professor Carl Schiesser and Assoc. Professor Michelle Gee who were successful in obtaining International Research & Research Training Fund (IRRTF) grants from the University. Carl's award is to build a “Selenium (Redox) Therapeutics” network involving Brazil, Italy, Denmark and Melbourne; and Michelle's is for an "International Research Network for Development of Antibiotic Peptides" with institutions in Australia, India and Germany. 

AINSE Postgraduate Research Award to Michele Vonci

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 - 2:00pm

Congratulations to Michelle Vonci, PhD student from the Boskovic lab, who has been successful in receiving an AINSE Postgraduate Research Award.  

ACS Petroleum Research Fund Grant to Mark Rizzacasa

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 - 5:30pm

Congratulations to Professor Mark Rizzacasa who was successful in obtaining an American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund grant entitled "Catalytic Asymmetric Hydration of Alkenes with Chiral cis-beta Metallosalen Complexes”.

Dean’s Awards for Excellence to Chemistry Staff

Wednesday, 4 June 2014 - 10:30pm

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research to Colette Boskovic

Dr Colette Boskovic has been selected as the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (Teaching and Research) 2014. The award celebrates the outstanding achievements of a Faculty of Science staff member who is involved in both research and teaching. 

Dean’s Award for Excellence in EH&S to Bryan McGowan

Bryan McGowan has been selected as the co-recipient of a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Environment, Health & Safety 2014. The award recognises the outstanding contribution of a Faculty of Science staff member to the management of environment, health and safety issues in the Faculty.

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Engagement to Mick Moylan

Mick Moylan has been selected as a recipient of a 2014 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Engagement (Outreach & Science Communication). The award celebrates ongoing, outstanding performance in Engagement activities within the Faculty of Science and in the wider community.

Chemistry pioneer takes over Academy presidency

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 - 11:45am

A pioneer in organic electronics, Professor Andrew Holmes, became the Australian Academy of Science's new President. Professor Holmes formally took over from Professor Suzanne Cory at the annual general meeting in Canberra on 28 May to become the 18th president of the Academy. He is currently a Melbourne Laureate Professor Emeritus at the School of Chemistry, Bio21 Institute, in the University of Melbourne and a CSIRO Fellow. Professor Holmes has been recognised for his ground-breaking work on light-emitting polymers. These polymers play an important role in the newly emerging field of flexible electronics and have applications in flat-screen televisions and solar cells. He has also been the recipient of a long list of awards including the Royal Society's Royal Medal and the Descartes Prize. Professor Holmes was elected to the Academy in 2006 and has served as Foreign Secretary since 2010. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering and a member of the School since 2004.

New species of metal-eating plant discovered

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 (All day)

Researchers from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, and the School of Chemistry have discovered a new plant species with an unusual lifestyle - it eats nickel for a living - accumulating up to 18,000 ppm of the metal in its leaves without itself being poisoned, says Professor Edwino Fernando, lead author of the report. Such an amount is a hundred to a thousand times higher than in most other plants.

"Hyperacccumulator plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, 'phytoremediation' and 'phytomining'", explains Dr Augustine Doronila of the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, who is also co-author of the report.

Lady Masson Memorial Lecture, May 2014

Thursday, 15 May 2014 - 9:45pm

The 30th Lady Masson Memorial Lecture was given by Dr Daniela Stock, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, in the Masson Theatre on 14 May 2014. The lecture, entitled 'Visualising biological power converters at atomic resolution,'  was visually exciting and stimulating and the theme fitted well with the International Year of Crystallography.

The chemistry of curiosity

Monday, 12 May 2014 - 12:45am

Article in the Voice explores the winding career path of Professor Frances Separovic, Head of Chemistry at theUniversity of Melbourne.

Andrew Holmes - Melbourne Laureate Professor Emeritus

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 5:30pm

The School of Chemistry is proud to announce that distinguished scientist, Andrew Holmes, has been appointed as Melbourne Laureate Professor Emeritus. Professor Holmes was previously a University Laureate Professor of Chemistry and his new title was awarded in recognition of his lifetime achievement and eminence as a public intellectual.

Acquisition of UoM Startup Fibrotech by Shire

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 11:15pm

Fibrotech Therapeutics, a startup company co-founded by Assoc Prof Spencer Williams (School of Chemistry, Bio21 Institute) and colleagues from the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, has been acquired by Irish Pharmaceutical company Shire Plc. Fibrotech has developed a new class of antifibrotic agents with potential to treat the fibrosis prevalent in chronic kidney disease, chronic heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis and arthritis. Shire will undertake further development of Fibrotech's lead product FT011, first synthesized in the Williams laboratory. Shire has agreed to purchase Fibrotech for an upfront payment of $US75M, and additional payments contingent upon meeting development and regulatory milestones. See news release and read more here.

School of Chemistry Student Prizes for 2013

Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 5:45pm

Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded prizes based on 2013 results:

Dwights Prize – Wenxiao Yue
Exhibition Prize - Stephanie Quah
CA Taylor Prize – Luke Wilson
Huntsman Australia Prize – Liselle Aitkin
J.S. Anderson Prize – Claire Baillie
Dulux Australia Prize – Tessa Young
Fred Walker Scholarship – Joses Grady Nathanaael
James Cuming Memorial Scholarship (Major) - Scott Fletcher
James Cuming Memorial Scholarship (Minor) - Marcus Giansiracusa
Agilent Award For Excellence – Calvin Lee
Dr Rex Williamson and Family Scholarship – Anton Zalewski
Andrew Kirby Award for Research Excellence – Athanasios Zavras
Kernot Research Scholarship – Tessa Young
Stanley Harvey Prize – Tessa Young
Dixson Research Scholarship – Ashley Sutton
Ronald Riseborough Prize – Ognjen Belic
Monica Elizabeth Reum Memorial Prize –  JiaYing Linda Chan                                
Thomas Healy Award (round 1) - Lu Cao and Quinn Besford
Thomas Healy Award (round 2) - Erwin Rodriguez

 Prof Frances Separovic (left) & Prof John Wade (right) presenting 
 JiaYing Linda Chan with the Monica Elizabeth Reum Memorial Prize.