Chemistry News and Events
UC Bluefern HPC PhD Scholarships
UC Bluefern HPC PhD Scholarships (Download PDF for full details)
Eligibility: Doctoral studies in High Performance Computing
Amount: $30,000 per annum, plus tuition fees and $5,000 towards international travel
Tenure: 3 years
Closing Date: 30 Nov 2011
Colleges: College of Engineering; College of Science
About the Senior Supervisor:
The senior supervisor, Associate Professor Emily Parker, has used the Bluefern recently in conjunction with PhD student Wanting Jiao. Molecular dynamics calculations have been carried out using NAMD on both small peptide systems and the large M. tuberculosis enzyme system. This work has paved the way for the studies described in this project proposal. One paper has been published featuring entirely computational studies carried out on the BlueFern. One other is under review. Emily also has extensive experience in understanding protein structure and function. This work will be complemented by experimental studies taking place in her laboratory. This will help to ensure that publications featuring computational work are accepted in the highest quality journals, as any functional predictions from our computational studies will be able to be experimentally verified.
Please follow the UC Schlolarships link under Study on the left navigation bar for further details on application processes.
President Obama Honours Former Erskine Visitor to Chemistry: Peter Stang receives a US National Medal of Science
President Obama this week named seven eminent researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science and five inventors as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honours bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.
"Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place," President Obama said. "Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face."
Peter J. Stang from the University of Utah was an Erskine Visitor to Chemistry in 2006. He received a National Medal of Science for his creative contributions to the development of organic supramolecular chemistry and for his outstanding and unique record of public service.
The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioural/social, and physical sciences.
Staff development award
Matt Polson (Compliance and Instrument Technician) has been awarded a Vice Chancellor's Staff Development Award for 2011. The Award of $2,500 is to allow Matt to attend a training programme for the replacement diffractometer. The Awards Ceremony took place at Okeover House on 1 September.
Tackling the technological divide
Dr Jan Wikaira shares her personal journey as she masters new skills for an online learning environment Read more in latest Chronicle>>
UC Chemists' research work assists cancer drug breakthrough
the science of "small stuff" drew a big crowd to a discussion on nanotechnology at Canterbury University. Read more>> (Feb 2011)
Husband and wife academics retire after almost 80 years UC service
Professor Peter Steel successful in recent Marsden Fund round. (Oct 2010)
Keith Laugesen Scholarship award
Congratulations to Chemistry PhD student, Phil Emnet, who has been awarded the Keith Laugesen Scholarship for 2010. (Aug 2010)
New solvent purification system
Talented Chemistry Technician, Nick Oliver, builds new solvent purification system for the Department. (Aug 2010)
Assoc Prof Emily Parker awarded one of NZ's top tertiary teaching awards
Congratulations to Assoc Prof Emily Parker who was awarded one of NZ's top tertiary teaching awards recently at a ceremony in Wellington. Read more about this prestigious award>> (Aug 2010)
New Food Safety Centre
A joint venture between the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, has been established to respond to the needs of the food industry. Read more from Prof Ian Shaw (Aug 2010)
Norman R Farnsworth ASP Research Achievement Award
Congratulations to Emeritus Professors John Blunt and Murray Munro who have been named joint recipients of the Norman R Farnsworth ASP Research Achievement Award for 2011. (Aug 2010)
Congratulations to Matt Polson, Compliance and Instrument Technician, who was presented with this Health and Safety Award recently. (July 2010)
International Exchange Camp
Congratulations to Phil Emnet, Gateway Antarctica postgraduate student, for being chosen to attend the First Wuhan University International Exchange Camp of Student Organisations this month in China. Phil's work is co-supervised by Sally Gaw in the Department of Chemistry. (July 2010)
Ellen Worthington and Daniel King both received their new Chemistry textbook, Chemistry3 from Acting Head of Department, Professor Alison Downard recently. (2010)
Congratulations to Associate Professor Richard Hartshorn who was awarded with the UC Teaching Medal at Graduation in December. This medal recognises an outstanding and sustained contribution to teaching.
Marsden Grant Successes
Paul Kruger's Marsden grant will enable him to develop spin-crossover driven molecular switches. The switching event may be induced by change in temperature, pressure or light or by the presence of other molecules. These species may ultimately function as the active components in memory devices, for data storage, visual displays and molecular sensors.
The three year grant ($700,000) will enable Paul to support a postdoctoral fellow and a graduate student.
Antony Fairbanks’ Marsden grant. This ongoing project, initiated in our group in Oxford back in 2003, centres on the combined application of chemical synthesis and biocatalysis to allow access to defined homogenous glycoconjugates and glycoproteins. It has been estimated that up to 75% of all mammalian proteins are in fact glycoproteins, i.e. they contain carbohydrates attached to the peptide backbone. In 2008 four of the world’s top-ten selling drugs were glycoproteins, and remarkably the total global sales of glycoproteins were estimated to be well in excess of US$40 billion. However nature produces these compounds as inseparable heterogeneous mixtures of molecules that differ by their attached carbohydrates. This hampers both study of the effects that the different carbohydrates have on protein properties, and means that therapeutic glycoproteins are in fact administered as complex mixtures of compounds.
This project aims to use a combination of chemical synthesis, particularly of oligosaccharides, and protein engineering to provide robust methods to access homogeneous defined glycoproteins, for either therapeutic use or biological study. The grant awarded by the Marsden fund totals $844,000 over three years, and will fund both a Postdoc and a PhD. These positions will be advertised very shortly.
Bright Ideas Funding
Associate Professor Owen Curnow has been successful in gaining funding of $28,000 from the Bright Ideas fund to support Kelvin Walst for a project on the "Development of a new class of Ionic Liquids".
NewICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) instrument
Chemistry Department thrilled to have a new ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) instrument on site.
Dr Marie Squire, Instrument Technician, has been named a 2009/2010 Queen Elizabeth II Technician's Study Award recipient.
Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists
Congratulations to Professor Ian C Shaw who has recently been made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists; a fantastic achievement!
Another retirement function was held last Friday for not one, but two, of the Department’s professors: Jim Coxon and Murray McEwan. Jim and Murray were contemporaries, having both started as students at Canterbury in the same year and having both been appointed to the staff in 1967. Their contributions to the Department over more than 40 years were described by Peter Steel and Colin Freeman before each retiree had the right of reply. Acting HOD Alison Downard then presented each with a gift from the Department.
UC Glassblower, Rob McGregor, featured recently in the UC Chronicle, Vol. 44, no. 10
Professor Murray Munro retires after 40 years
A large group gathered recently to celebrate the retirement of Professor Murray Munro at a function in the Chemistry Department. Several members of Murray's family and grandchildren, along with a number of old friends and former students added to the occasion with their presence, notably Brent Copp who had flown down from Auckland just for a few hours.