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.

Oenology Paper of the Year

Friday, 20 November 2015 - 7:45pm

Dr Geoffrey Scollary and co-authors have been awarded the 2015 Oenology Paper of the Year by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO), the society that owns and publishes the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research (AJGWR). The manuscript “Copper(II) addition to white wines containing hydrogen sulfide: residual copper concentration and activity” was selected as the winner. The judges felt that the use of copper was an ongoing debate and studies into the effective removal of residual copper was important in today's wine industry. This is particularly relevant with the rapid transition to alternative closures to cork in wine. The award was made at the Annual ASVO Awards for Excellence Dinner on Thursday 19 November in Adelaide.

New book by Richard Harcourt

Thursday, 19 November 2015 - 8:15pm

A new edition of "Bonding in electron-rich molecules'" by Dr Richard Harcourt, from the School of Chemistry, has recently been published by Springer. The book is part of the series, Lecture Notes in Chemistry 90, and was first published in 1982.

The Qualitative Valence-Bond Approach via increased-valence structures has been expanded to cover increased-valence and 3-electron-3-centre bonding, recoupled-pair bonding and spiral chain O4 polymers.

Endeavour Fellowship to Luke Gamon

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 8:15am

PhD student, Luke Gamon, from the Wille Group has been awarded an Endeavour Research Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research with Prof. Michael Davies for 6 months at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The project in Copenhagen is centered on monitoring and mediating oxidative damage in proteins, with a focus on heart disease.

NHMRC grant success

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 7:30am

Members of the School were successful in the recent NHMRC Project Grant outcomes. Congratulations to Assoc Prof Paul Donnelly on his project, "Molecular imaging of cancers with copper and zirconium radiopharmaceuticals". Assoc Prof Williams is co-investigator on "Targeting carbohydrate metabolism in Leishmania", and Dr Brett Patterson on "Novel targeted PEG nanoparticles for potent cancer therapy and non-invasive monitoring".

Feature article in Analytica Chimica Acta

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 - 9:15pm

A paper co-authored by PhD student, Eddie Nagul, Dr Ian McKelvie and Professor Spas Kolev from the School of Chemistry, has been published as a feature article in Analytica Chimica Acta.

The article is entitled, 'The nature of the salt error in the Sn(II)-reduced molybdenum blue reaction for determination of dissolved reactive phosphorus in saline waters' and is on pages 120-127 of issue 896.

A cover picture taken from the article is on the front cover of the journal.

ARC grant success

Friday, 30 October 2015 - 6:45pm

Congratulations to the following members of the School on their success in the recent ARC Discovery and LIEF grant schemes: Prof M Ashokkumar: Ultrasound-assisted fabrication of biofunctional materials; Prof Evan Bieske: Shape-shifting molecules: photoisomerization action spectroscopy; Assoc Prof Paul Donnelly: Technetium and copper complexes for diagnostic imaging of neurodegeneration; Prof Paul Mulvaney: The role of molecular dipole layers on charge carrier separation (plus DP with Sader); Prof Frances Separovic: Atomic details of antimicrobial peptides at work in live cells; Assoc Prof Spencer Williams: Unravelling the immunology of complex glycolipids by chemical synthesis; Prof Gavin Reid: An ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry facility for lipidomics research; Prof Frances Separovic & Dr Marco Sani: Dynamic nuclear polarisation system for molecular structure determination; and Prof Ken Ghiggino (LIEF with UNSW).

Early Career Researcher Grant to Tash Polyzos

Friday, 30 October 2015 - 6:30pm

Dr Anastasios Polyzos was successful in his application to the Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme for funding in 2016. Congratulations Tash on your project, "Flash chemistry: achieving rapid and temporally resolved chemical catalysis".

Feutrill Travel Awards to Chemistry PhD students

Friday, 30 October 2015 - 5:30pm

Congratulations to the following research students who are recipients of Feutrill Awards for 2015, which help support travel to an international conference in the area of Organic Chemistry:
Nitin Patil, who presented at the Chemical Protein Synthesis Meeting 2015 held at St Augustine, USA, 16-20 June,
Lee Wong Chong & Alex MacDonald, who presented posters at the world molecular imaging congress (WIMC) in Honolulu, 2-5 September, and
Mina Barzegar Amiri Olia, who presented at 7th Pacific Symposium on Radical Chemistry (PSRC-7) in Singapore in July.

Senior Humboldt Fellowship to Richard O'Hair

Friday, 30 October 2015 - 8:30am

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Richard O'Hair has been awarded a Senior Humboldt Fellowship to travel to Germany to spend six months in total working in the laboratories of Prof. Konrad Koszinowski at the Institute of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, and other research institutes.

American Australian Association Fellowship

Thursday, 29 October 2015 - 7:45pm

Congratulations to Dr Mark Richardson from Chemistry University of Melbourne/University of California Irvine who was awarded a Dow Chemical Company Fellowship. Mark completed his BSc (Hons) at Macquarie University in 2010 and his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2015. He is fascinated by problems in chemistry and biology, and tries to marry these two fields in his research pursuits.

PNAS article on dirty surfaces

Thursday, 29 October 2015 - 2:45pm

ARC DECRA Fellow and Computational Quantum Chemist, Dr Lars Goerigk, from the School of Chemistry has contributed to an article recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). A combination of organic synthesis, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging and density functional theory modeling has led to new ways for understanding how water-repellent organic surfaces get dirty. This work is the result of a large international collaboration under leadership of researchers at Shanghai University (China) and also involved groups from the University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney and Radboud University (The Netherlands). The study considers self-assembled monolayers formed by tetraalkylporphyrins on graphite. Various different structures can be observed in the STM images, and a new simple method is presented for estimating formation free energies from this data. Computational methods previously only applied to understand chemical reactions between small molecules are then adapted and applied to this complex self-assembly process. This provides fundamental insight into the factors that control how and why the surfaces become dirty. This work is also relevant to many other polymer surfaces as well as to many biological processes. See Reimers et al., PNAS 2015,

Victoria Prizes to Chemistry Alumni

Thursday, 29 October 2015 - 2:30pm

Professor Calum Drummond, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation and Vice-President at RMIT, was awarded the Victoria Prize (Physical Sciences) for outstanding contribution to advancing the understanding of the factors governing molecular assembly. Calum is an alumnus of the School of Chemistry and this year was awarded a DSc from the University of Melbourne. Also, Dr Daniel Gomez, who was awarded a Victoria fellowship this year, is one of our former PhD students.

University of Melbourne Awards 2015 Recipients

Thursday, 29 October 2015 - 2:15pm

University of Melbourne Awards are granted to former academic and professional staff members who have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the identity and standing of the University. Professor Thomas Healy and Dr Valda McRae from Chemistry are amongst this year awardees. Award recipients will be honoured with bronze plaques installed on Professors Walk on the Parkville campus and celebrated at an award ceremony to be held in late 2015.

Chemistry 3rd Year Dinner

Monday, 26 October 2015 - 8:00pm

Over 50 staff and students met at University House for the 2015 School of Chemistry third year dinner on Thurs 22 October. Thank you to the SSLC for organizing this event.

Biophysical Society Blog: Frances Separovic

Saturday, 24 October 2015 - 7:00pm

Get to know Professor Frances Separovic, new BPS secretary, on the official blog of the Biophysical Society. You can view it here.

J Am Chem Soc paper from O’Hair lab

Friday, 16 October 2015 - 11:30pm

Congratulations to Professor Richard O'Hair and visiting Assoc. Prof. Alireza Ariafard for their publication in JACS on the topic of the formation of an organo Ni(IV) intermediate involved in a carbon-carbon bound coupling reaction. "Gas-Phase and Computational Study of Identical Nickel- and Palladium-Mediated Organic Transformations Where Mechanisms Proceeding via MII or MIV Oxidation States are Determined by Ancillary Ligands" by KL. Vikse, GN Khairallah, A Ariafard, AJ Canty & RAJ O’Hair, J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b08044

Science image award to Hannah Alcantara

Monday, 12 October 2015 - 5:00pm

Congratulations to Hannah Alcantara, a PhD student in Kolev Group, for winning the first prize in the 2015 science imaging competition, Under the Coverslip, organized by the Postgraduate Students of Anatomy Society (PSOAS) and Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience. Hannah’s image, Star of Life, is a cross section of a cassava root.

Photoisomerization action spectroscopy on cover of PCCP

Thursday, 1 October 2015 - 4:30pm

Research from the Bieske and Goerigk groups has appeared on the front cover of the special themed issue on “Optical spectroscopy coupled with mass spectrometry methods” in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. The study combines laser spectroscopy, ion mobility spectrometry and accurate quantum-chemical calculations to elucidate the protonated merocyanine-spiropyran system. Spiropyrans are photoactive molecules that are relevant in molecular switches, chemical sensors and photoelectric cells. See Markworth et al. (2015).

Royal Society of Victoria student prizes

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 1:45am

Congratulations are due to PhD student, Edward Nagul, for being a joint winner of the Royal Society of Victoria Young Scientist Research Award in the physical sciences category. Well done Eddie!

Andrew Holmes: it began as lab monitor at school

Saturday, 26 September 2015 - 12:15am

Brain Box is a video podcast series created by the Australian Academy of Science: ‘Scientists come in all shapes and sizes and with Brain Box you can get to know the wonderful brains behind the science.’ Watch the interview with the Academy’s President, Professor Andrew Holmes, who reveals what inspired him to become a chemist in the first place.