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.

Free radical damage by ozone for models of lung proteins

Thursday, 3 September 2015 - 8:00pm

New research from the Universities of Melbourne and Wollongong and QUT has provided a first glimpse at how free radical damage might be initiated in the human lung upon exposure to the urban air pollutant ozone. “This is an important problem, especially since that surface concentrations of ozone have more than doubled over the last century and predictions that background urban ozone levels may ultimately exceed internationally accepted levels for human health in the 21st century.” said Professor Blanksby. The research team led by Prof. Richard O’Hair & Prof. Stephen Blanksby from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry, has used a powerful combination of electrospray ionisation coupled with multistage mass spectrometry experiments to shed light on how radicals are formed in the reactions of ozone with models of lung proteins. Their work is featured in the current edition of Angewandte Chemie. The team studied how the deprotonated form of the amino acid cysteine, its derivatives and related peptides react with ozone when isolated under idealized near-vacuum conditions, and tracked the formation of primary oxidation products including radicals. “We hope this work will inspire scientists to search for ozone induced protein free radical formation and damage at the air-liquid interface of the lung.” said Professor O’Hair.

Radio Interview – Beyond Zero Emissions

Saturday, 29 August 2015 - 1:45am

Yasmina Dkhissi, a PhD student in the Caruso lab, was interviewed by 3CR on 28 August regarding perovskite solar cells, which are the focus of her PhD thesis. Yasmina works in close collaboration with Monash University and the CSIRO. Her research focuses on the development of flexible thin film PV on polymer substrates. In particular, she is looking at device fabrication techniques and at practical industrial concerns such as the reproducibility, manufacturing processability and stability of perovskite solar cells. Listen to the interview at

New chemical analysis platform: TrACEES

Friday, 28 August 2015 - 9:45am

Congratulations to Professor Spas Kolev who has led a successful application for the establishment of a new platform, Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Sciences (TrACEES), with manager located in the School of Chemistry. The Platform will be funded for an initial period of three years by the Melbourne Collaborative Research Infrastructure Program (MCRIP) and its stakeholder and will have nodes in the School of Chemistry, School of Earth Sciences and Faculty of Veterinary & Agricultural Sciences. It will offer world-class surface and chemical analysis services to researchers of the University, other academic and research institutions and industry to support cutting-edge research and training and development of research partnerships and excellence.

Illuminated: Stories from the Chemistry Cultural Collection

Thursday, 13 August 2015 - 1:45pm

On Wed 12 August we were delighted to welcome alumni and friends of the School of Chemistry to help us celebrate the opening of the Chemistry Cultural Collection's latest exhibition, Illuminated: through the prism of chemistry, and the International Year of Light 2015. This exhibition brings together lamps, instruments, and materials used by chemists throughout the history of the School of Chemistry, and drawings by artist Peter Sharp in response to these items to illuminate and elucidate the secrets of the Universe. The evening included a MUCS public lecture delivered by Dr Renee Beale, Manager & Curator of the Chemistry Cultural Collection, and Peter Sharp, 2015 Chemistry Cultural Collection resident artist, followed by the exhibition viewing. Visitors were also treated to a series of artwork projections onto the exterior of the Chemistry building. A selection of drawings and Chemistry Cultural Collection items will remain on display in the cabinets on the ground floor of Chemistry until the end of the year for those who are interested in viewing them.

Perpetual IMPACT Philanthropy Grant to Spas Kolev

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 11:45pm

Congratulations to Professor Spas Kolev and his collaborator, Prof. Michael McCullough (Melbourne Dental School), who have been successful with their application for 1 year funding for research on oral cancer risk testing through Perpetual’s 2015 IMPACT Philanthropy Application Program.

2014 Student Prizes

Friday, 7 August 2015 - 4:30pm


Outstanding student achievers from the School of Chemistry were presented awards recently by the Head of School, Prof. Frances Separovic, and Industry sponsors from Agilent, Dulux and Huntsman.



Dwights Prize – James Ha
Exhibition Prize - Stanley Sim
CA Taylor Prize – Wenxiao Yue
HuntsmanAustralia Prize – Peter McDonald
J.S. Anderson Prize – Jared Crabtree-Morton
Fred Walker Scholarship – Liselle Aitkin
James Cuming Memorial Scholarship (Major) - Jarad Crabtree-Morton
James Cuming Memorial Scholarship (Minor) - Jacob Rowan
Agilent Award For Excellence – Katie Feng
Dixson Research Scholarship – Quentin Hong
Ronald Riseborough Prize – Tessa Evans
Andrew Kirby Award for Research Excellence – Joses Grady Nathanael
Dr Rex Williamson and Family Scholarship – Liselle Aitkin
Kernot Research Scholarship (& Stanley Harvey Prize) - Stacey Rudd
Dulux Australia Prize – Stacey Rudd
Monica Elizabeth Reum Memorial Prize – Jennifer Muth Chambers

Calum Drummond awarded DSc

Sunday, 2 August 2015 - 8:15pm

Professor Calum Drummond is an outstanding scientist who combines leading-edge fundamental physical chemistry research with development of innovative industrial processes and products. His work in colloid (particle) and surface chemistry, and factors that govern molecular self-assembly and particle and surface interactions in liquids, addresses a wide range of problems from biology to materials science, leading to new products. He has received a number of prestigious awards in recognition of his eminence in colloid and surface science and research translation activities. Calum is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (BScEd 1981, BSc Hons 1982, PhD 1987) and is the DVC(R) at RMIT University.

Global Environmental Sustainability Award

Friday, 31 July 2015 - 8:15pm

PhD student Kyra Schwarz, from the Ghiggino lab, has received a Global Environmental Sustainability (GES) award from the Rotary Club of Balwyn. The award will help Kyra attend an international conference in Italy next year on organic electronics.

Poster prize for Chemistry students

Friday, 31 July 2015 - 1:15pm

Congratulations to Mina Barzegar Amiri Olia, from the Schiesser research group, who won the Best Poster Prize at the recent 7th Pacific Symposium on Radical Chemistry, held in Singapore from 15 – 18 July 2015. Congratulations also go to Laura Cortes, from the Wedd Lab, who won the poster prize at the 17th International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry, held in Beijing over July 20-24.

Science Engagement Grant for Chemistry with Light

Thursday, 30 July 2015 - 10:45pm

Chemistry staff members, Dr Chris Ritchie and Dr Lars Goerigk, in collaboration with alumnus, Dr Kerwyn Alley, have been awarded a Dean's Engagement Seed Funding grant to initiate an outreach programme on "Chemistry in action through light” with the Nossal High School.

DAAD travel award to Chemistry student

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 - 10:00pm

PhD student, Hedi Karou from the Ritchie lab, is the recipient of a DAAD short term research grant to visit the University of Ulm to work with Professor Carsten Streb for two months to conduct photocatalytic experiments relating to his thesis project.

Dyason Fellowship to Chris Ritchie

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 - 10:00pm

Dr Chris Ritchie has been awarded a Dyason Fellowship to visit the Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragón to work with Dr Jesús Martínez de la Fuente on the project, "Synthesis, assembly and antibacterial properties of polyoxometalate containing polysaccharide nano capsules”.

New solid-state NMR installed at Bio21

Thursday, 23 July 2015 - 11:30pm

A 400 MHz solid-state NMR spectrometer with a wide bore magnet has been installed at the Bio21 NMR Facility. The NMR purchase was funded through an ARC LIEF grant awarded to Prof. Frances Separovic and colleagues. Read more about the instrument and how it will be used at 'Everyday quantum mechanics and the study of cell membranes'.

Chemistry students awarded best talks at ANZSMS

Thursday, 23 July 2015 - 4:30pm

PhD students, Michael Leeming and Neville Coughlan, won the best and runner up award for student talks at the 25th Australian & New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (ANZSMS) meeting in Brisbane.

IRRTF grant award for semiconducting materials

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 7:00pm

Congratulations to Prof. Ken Ghiggino and colleagues on the success of their International Research & Research Training Fund (IRRTF) application in the Research Network & Consortia category, entitled "Asian Research Network for Characterising Semi-Conducting Materials at High Spatial and Temporal Resolution”, which involves researchers at Shandong University, IIS Bangalore, IIS Kanpur, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry CAS, and Nanjing University of Post & Telecommunications.

ARC Linkage grant success

Tuesday, 7 July 2015 - 5:45pm

Congratulations to Assoc Prof Paul Donnelly who was successful in his ARC Linkage grant application, "Gallium, copper and metal fluoride complexes designed for brain imaging”.

Luke Gamon blogs for Nature Chemistry

Monday, 6 July 2015 - 11:45am

Luke Gamon, PhD student in Chemistry, has been chosen to do the July 'Blogroll column’ for Nature Chemistry. Read his column on creativity in drug discovery, entitled 'Patently inventive', at Nature blog.

Faculty of Science Travelling Scholarship

Friday, 3 July 2015 - 9:00pm

Congratulations to PhD student, Michele Vonci, from the Boskovic group, on the award of a Faculty of Science Travelling Scholarship. Michele will use this scholarship to attend the European Conference on Molecular Magnetism and the European Conference on Neutron Scattering in Zaragoza, Spain, in September. Michele will also undertake collaborative research at the University of Florence, Italy.

Site-specific modification of antibodies by click chemistry

Wednesday, 1 July 2015 - 6:15pm

A versatile two-step modular system for site-specific antibody modification and conjugation has been reported in Angew. Chem. See: .The team led by researchers from the School of Chemistry (Paul Donnelly & Brett Paterson) and Baker Heart IDI (Christoph Hagemeyer, Karl Heinz Peter, Karen Alt) demonstrated the versatility of the two-step approach by selectively incorporating fluorescent dyes and a positron-emitting copper-64 radiotracer to a single-chain antibody fragment that targets activated platelets. The resulting constructs could be used for fluorescence or PET imaging of activated platelets and thrombi. This approach could be readily adapted to incorporate a large array of tailor-made functional groups using reliable click chemistry whilst preserving the activity of the antibody or other sensitive biological macromolecules.

Georgina Such – new Senior Lecturer

Friday, 26 June 2015 - 1:30pm

The School of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Georgina Such as a Senior Lecturer (Level C). Georgina joined the School in 2013 as an ARC Future Fellow and has established a research group in Advanced Polymer Assemblies of Medicine, Energy and Catalysis. Her appointment strengthens our research in the area of materials chemistry. Find out more about Georgina’s research at