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UOA 18 - Chemistry

University of Glasgow (joint submission with University of Strathclyde)

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

1          Research Strategy

WestCHEM, the joint Research School of Chemistry for the West of Scotland, was founded in 2005 as an internationally leading Research School in Chemical Sciences, delivering forefront chemistry research in state-of-the-art laboratories, and educating tomorrow’s leaders through chemistry.  This WestCHEM RAE submission by the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow shows a transformed picture since RAE2001, consistent with a substantial step-change in achievements.  The proximity of the two campuses has always made collaboration and strategic integration attractive.  Plans to more strongly exploit the potential for close cooperation within a joint Research School led to the development of the vision and proposal for WestCHEM; following international peer review, SFC, OST and the two Universities approved £11.0M launch funding. 

The integrated WestCHEM research strategy is now very actively bearing fruit, with success in major UK funding competitions, and very significant growth in research income (among the top 10 for EPSRC current grant income).  This success is supported strongly by the two Universities, rewarding significant achievement throughout their investment programmes.  WestCHEM presents a forward looking, dynamic and exciting joint Research School with national and international recognition, attracting talent at all levels to conduct cutting-edge research in Glasgow.  Excellence is demonstrated at many levels, e.g. election of established members of the School to FRS [Barron (2005) and Sherrington (2007)] and the dramatic trajectory of rising stars [Graham (Chair, age 33) and Cronin (Chair, age 32)].

1.1       WestCHEM Research Organisation and Membership

WestCHEM is managed by a Director and Deputy Director.  These posts alternate every 2 years between the partners and are drawn from different Departments.  Currently, Murphy is Director, with Wilson Deputy Director.  Together with the two HoDs, they comprise the WestCHEM Board, bi-monthly meetings of which set the strategic agenda for the School.  Reporting to the Board is the Science Committee representing the four research themes described below, which plans joint activities across both campuses, identifying likely topics for major joint proposals, and organising flourishing joint colloquia programmes, joint postgraduate lecture schedules and very successful Research Days.  Outward-looking collaborations are also strongly part of the WestCHEM ethos, for example with other colleagues in chemistry, physicists, life scientists, engineers, clinicians and many others.

1.2       The WestCHEM path to excellence

Membership criteria were defined at the creation of WestCHEM, reflecting an expected level of international excellence.  Colleagues who meet these criteria, together with Early Career Researchers, for whom special arrangements are made, are admitted to full membership, and constitute the grouping included in this submission.

Membership status is reviewed at least every two years, using a dynamic, structured process based on membership criteria established by our International Advisory Body.  WestCHEM encourages excellence not only among its members, but also among aspiring members, requiring flexible attitudes from both partner Departments (always enthusiastically provided).  For more established academics aspiring to WestCHEM membership, individual discussions produce plans that clarify and facilitate the route to full membership.  A benefit of WestCHEM is, therefore, the very clear focus on an individual's research development; this has had uniformly positive impact.

1.3       Relation to Research Strategy from RAE2001

The WestCHEM partner Departments were submitted separately to RAE2001.  Alignment of development in the intervening years with the separate strategic plans is described below.

SU plans focused on (i) expansion and refurbishment of research space through creation of a 4-floor extension to the Thomas Graham building (achieved 2004), (ii) a senior appointment in Synthesis (Percy), (iii) a senior appointment in Physical Chemistry/Materials (Skabara) (iv) expansion of NMR facilities (achieved; three additional spectrometers in a new dedicated suite, 400-600MHz), (v) significant expansion of research income (achieved).

GU plans focused on (i) establishment of a centre of excellence in catalysis (achieved; Centre for Heterogeneous Catalysis); (ii) increasing the profile of research at the chemistry/biology interface (achieved: appointments of Marquez, Cronin, Clark); (iii) consolidating excellence in fundamental and analytical aspects of new chiroptical spectroscopies (achieved, outputs from Barron and Hecht); (iv) establishing a research school in environmental sciences (modified, enhanced links with SUERC); (v) establishing a world-class centre for asymmetric synthesis (achieved through WestCHEM–driven enhancements); (vi) increasing co-operation with Chemistry at SU (achieved; WestCHEM).

Beyond these met targets, the strategic integration of GU and SU research in chemistry brings together complementary strengths, resulting in a School with internationally competitive research in all traditional areas of chemistry, while also building strength in key emerging areas [e.g. nanoscience, molecular and inorganic materials, self-assembly, interfaces, chemical biology, physical organic chemistry (P.O.C.)].

1.4 Targets for the next 6 years

(i) Strengthen our position among the top 10 in the UK in research earnings per academic FTE, while enhancing research output and technology translation.

(ii) Expand WestCHEM academic staffing numbers, addressing our strategic plan to have international visibility in all the traditional and emerging areas of chemistry; achievable through our very healthy research/teaching economies.

(iii) Continue to spread the WestCHEM culture of excellence within the partner Departments, allowing more colleagues to assume full membership.

(iv) Raise PhD studentship numbers by 20% from 2007 levels, partly through increased staff numbers, but also through our Science and Innovation awards carrying substantial financial support from industry, CTA, and from other large WestCHEM grant awards (e.g. CRUK Programme Grant).

(v) To place WestCHEM at the Centre of major multidisciplinary initiatives being planned in the partner Universities, for example in the materials, medicinal and nanotechnology areas.

2          Research Themes & Headlines: Alignment of Excellence with Strategy

The four research focus areas within WestCHEM are: (i) Synthetic and Biological Chemistry, (ii) Materials Chemistry, (iii) Theory, Structure and Spectroscopy, and (iv) Analytical Chemistry, each having critical mass and a good balance of experienced and developing researchers.  Two themes, Theory, Structure and Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry, are principally concentrated in one campus, bringing clear complementarity of chemistry coverage within WestCHEM.  The other two themes, Synthetic and Biological Chemistry and Materials Chemistry, are very strong on both campuses, assembling a powerful critical mass within our Research School.  Membership is indicated below, with new appointments since RAE2001 identified in italics

Synthetic & Biological Chemistry Group.  [18 members, including 7 new appointees]

Professors: Clark, Cooper, Halling, Kerr, Kocovsky, Mulvey, Murphy, Percy, Suckling.

Readers: Cooke, Hartley, Malkov, Moore.      Senior Lecturer: Spicer

Lecturers: Bucher, Hevia, Marquez, O'Hara.

Coverage: organometallic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, synthesis, synthetic methodology and mechanism, biophysical chemistry.

Notes: extensive connections with the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences (Glasgow) and the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS).  A Science and Innovation Award establishing the new P.O.C. Centre has consolidated intra- and inter-group collaboration, including the link with SIPBS.  Two further appointments (Chair, and Lecturer in P.O.C.) currently advertised.

Scope and achievements

Synthetic organometallic chemistry is a particularly strong theme within WestCHEM.  Mulvey's (FRSE) internationally leading research shows how intelligent pairing of metals with different proclivities (‘soft’ alkali metals having affinities for p-bonding electrons paired with ‘hard’ magnesium/zinc that lock onto lone pairs in anions) generates ‘synergic’ systems, with properties surpassing the sums of their constituent parts.  The new concepts of ‘inverse crown chemistry’ and ‘alkali-metal-mediated metallation’ emerged from this work.  This synergic phenomenon has recently been extended from main group chemistry to transition metals through the first example of alkali-metal-mediated manganation, an innovative method for directly attaching Mn(II) centres to aromatic frameworks.  Two recent appointees, Hevia and O’Hara boost further the internationally leading WestCHEM nucleus in this research (in line with our high profile in organometallics, Henderson, Category B, moved to a Chair at University of Notre Dame, Indiana).  Hevia, (Early Career Researcher; Roy Soc URF) explores new avenues of metal-mediated synthesis, by developing novel bimetallic reagents with co-operative metal-metal properties that can induce regioselective metallation of metallocenes and metal-arene complexes, often in sites inaccessible with conventional metal bases.  She has also synthesised and structurally characterised the first mixed alkali metal-magnesium enolates and alkali metal-zinc enolates.  O’Hara (Early Career Researcher) has used an assortment of alkali metal-magnesium complexes to achieve several key advances in the area of ‘inverse crown chemistry’– most notably the isolation and characterisation of a homologous series of tetra-deprotonated metallocenes and novel hydride-encapsulated molecules.

Spicer has used N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes to stabilise high oxidation state metal fragments for the first time, and discovered a hitherto unrecognised ligand-mediated back-bonding.  With Murphy, he has prepared and developed the first examples of "crown-carbenes" showing unique and diverse binding properties with metal ions.  His previous report on the synthesis of the tridentate, anionic sulfur-based ligand, hydrotris(methimazolyl)borate - a soft analogue of the popular pyrazolylborate system -  has led to the publication of over 140 papers from 30 groups worldwide.  His research outputs remain at the forefront of this field, featuring modified core structures facilitating applications in catalysis, surface science and metalloenzyme modelling.

Kerr has made significant advances in organic synthesis and asymmetric transformations. His research on chromium carbenes delivered unprecedented levels of efficiency in benzannulation reactions with alkynes, and also allowed the formulation of a completely new β-lactonisation process with propargylic alcohols. He developed high yielding Pauson-Khand annulation techniques, even with less reactive gaseous alkenes and synthetic equivalents, and this powerful methodology allowed a range of biologically important targets to be elegantly synthesised. New NHC-containing iridium complexes were prepared and applied to hydrogen-isotope exchange, providing the most active catalyst systems known internationally in this industrially important area. New homochiral magnesium reagents, derived from readily available chiral ligands, delivered world-leading enantiomeric excesses in a series of asymmetric deprotonation processes without the need for excessive reaction cooling.

Kocovsky and Malkov work closely together, focusing on asymmetric synthesis and catalysis.  Over 700 citations of their RAE-period publications indicate the wide range and profile of their research, combining metal-free and metal-mediated asymmetric catalysis.  Highlights include the enantio- and diastereoselective allylation of aldehydes with allylsilanes, catalysed by a novel class of pyridine N-oxide organocatalysts, (e.g., QUINOX and METHOX).  The enantioselective reduction of imines by trichlorosilane has been achieved, catalysed by novel formamides, prepared e.g. from valine.  Demonstrating the applicability of their work, Sigma-Aldrich now markets two Kocovsky-Malkov organocatalysts, Kenamide and Sigamide.  Novel, amino-acid-based ligands for enantioselective molybdenum-catalysed allylic substitution have been developed and the mechanism of action established (partly in collaboration with Lloyd-Jones, Bristol), while NOBIN and related non-symmetrically substituted 1,1'-binaphthyls have been developed as phase-transfer catalysts in the synthesis of amino-acids via enantioselective alpha-alkylation.  This research has now been reviewed, upon invitation, in Chemical Reviews.

Hartley is the leading UK researcher in titanium carbenoid chemistry, developing new functionalised organotitanium reagents for diversity-oriented synthesis of privileged structures, attracting international recognition.  Simultaneously, at the biology-chemistry interface, Hartley's patented small molecule approach to the study and amelioration of oxidative stress, the primary cause of ageing and age-related diseases, has led to important flavonol-vitamin E hybrids forming the basis of Antoxis, a successful spin-out company from the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept initiative.

Suckling (FRSE, OBE in 2006) is a leading figure in medicinal chemistry.  His breakthroughs include new synthetic routes to highly substituted novel fused pyrimidines exhibiting unique biological activity as NOS-activators (confirmed by X-ray crystal structures of relevant enzyme-inhibitor complexes).  He has also discovered very active antibacterial and anti-fungal DNA minor-groove binders with novel structural features.  Through patent protection, he seeks to emulate the success of his earlier work on Leucovorin (£4.7M royalties over the current RAE period).  His leadership skills and status have been key in securing large commitments e.g. (i) £20M from Yoshitomi/Mitsubishi for the YRING neurosciences centre in Glasgow, (ii) funding for the SIPBS building within Strathclyde and (iii) creation of a Chair in Medicinal Chemistry within SIPBS, complementary to his own Chair.  The last-mentioned has strategic importance in the development of large scale programmes in medicinal chemistry with multi-pronged involvement within WestCHEM, seen most recently in the award of a £2.5 M programme grant from CRUK (2007; collaboration with Murphy, SIPBS and clinicians).

The synthesis effort of the Marquez group is focused towards synthetic, biological and medicinal chemistry.  His active development of new synthetic methodology and collaborations with biological groups is reflected in publications in high impact journals.  His development of new anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-parasitic and wound-healing compounds has led to a patent, with licensing opportunities currently being pursued.

WestCHEM developments in medicinal chemistry play to the advantage of many of our synthetic chemists.  Clark's wide-ranging, prize-winning programme in total synthesis and development of innovative synthetic methodology aims at the rapid construction of targets of extreme structural complexity with an emphasis on bioactive polycyclic natural products with potential therapeutic applications including anti-cancer, ion-channel disruption and anti-malarial activity.  The targets, and their synthetic derivatives, are benchmarked against specific biological assays, while the highly challenging synthetic aspects of the work reveal an array of new synthetic strategies and tactics of fundamental importance to the field of organic chemistry, as recognised by major awards from Pfizer and Novartis.

Murphy (FRSE) and Percy populate the critically important interfaces between synthetic, mechanistic and biological chemistry.  Murphy probes the boundaries of organic reactivity in radical and electron-transfer chemistry.  His purely organic, neutral, 'Super-Electron-Donor' agents are unsurpassed in terms of (ground-state) reactivity.  Initial examples show the 1st reduction of haloarenes to aryl radicals.  Later variants, developed with Tuttle, show unique reductions of haloarenes to aryl anions (by remarkable double-electron transfer) and selective reductive cleavage of sulfones and sulfonamides. Achievements in synthesis include the formal total synthesis of the complex alkaloid vindoline using Murphy methodology (radical domino cyclisations of alkenylazides), and the influential development of highly effective phosphorus-based reagents for radical reactions. (see also under Spicer, Suckling, Wilson).

Percy straddles synthesis, P.O.C. and reactivity, including reactivity at the active site of important enzymes; he addresses target synthesis and the development of new, powerful and sustainable synthetic methods, underpinned by a strong interest in organic reactivity.  Selectively fluorinated molecules, of considerable importance in bioorganic chemistry, are a particular expertise.  He holds an internationally leading position in understanding the special effects of fluorine atoms on reactivity, as seen in high impact publications.  His recent quantitative work, based on physical organic methods, positions him as a key player in current developments within WestCHEM.

Cooper exploits physical chemistry techniques to study biological macromolecules in solution and at interfaces, with studies ranging from the fundamental thermodynamics of protein folding and interactions to analysis of unusual biomaterials.  This interdisciplinary work, a culmination of many years experimental investigation by Cooper as director of the UK Biological Microcalorimetry Facility, is increasingly widely cited.  His leading work on biomolecular foams and surfactant and antimicrobial proteins sourced from tropical frogs and other organisms, leads to new understanding of functional biomolecular interfaces.  Successful collaborations with industry (Organon) using biomolecular thermodynamics have helped characterise the interactions of modified cyclodextrins, now in clinical use for the reversal of neuromuscular block.

Halling’s (FRSE) influential and international collaborative research deals with fundamental understanding of enzyme behaviour in systems relevant to their application as practical catalysts.  During the review period, thermodynamic analysis has provided novel predictive models for equilibrium position and kinetics in predominantly solid systems, in organic solution, and with the substrate moieties covalently attached to a solid surface.  Other firsts included: a model for kinetics in predominantly solid mixtures; methods offering spatially resolved kinetic measurements on immobilised substrates; circular dichroism measurements on immobilised enzymes and mass spectrometric characterisation of proteins present within immobilised enzymes.

Moore has developed a novel and generic self-assembly process that can be used to coat proteins, nucleic acids and nanoparticles onto the surface of microcrystals.  He has directed the R&D programme commercialising this fundamental discovery and co-founded (with Parker, ex-GU) the prize-winning company, XstalBio Ltd, specialising in protein drug-delivery and vaccines.  Moore has filed five worldwide patents underpinning the company, with three sub-licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim. He has also initiated research into ultra-sensitive measurements of enzyme activity and selectivity using Surface-Enhanced Resonance Raman Spectroscopy (SERRS, with Graham), developed methods for characterising the secondary and tertiary structure of therapeutic proteins and antigens in the solid-state via circular dichroism, and (with Cormack) pioneered new methods for preparing molecularly imprinted polymers of biomolecules.

The supramolecular chemistry group of Cooke develops functional molecular materials based on redox-active moieties, with potential as molecular machines and devices and as novel biomimetic systems.  Achievements include the first examples of flavin-based rotaxanes, allowing the fabrication of controllable molecular shuttles in solution and in the solid-state.  His model systems for flavoenzyme activity have quantified the relationship between flavin structure, molecular recognition and redox properties, providing significant insight into how recognition processes in flavoenzymes modulate the redox properties of the cofactor, and paving the way for the development of new flavin-based molecular electronics components.  He has strong international collaborations (USA, France).

Bucher (2007, Lecturer in P.O.C.) with links to a host of international teams, combines his own strong expertise in synthesis, laser flash photolysis, matrix isolation spectroscopy and computational modelling to provide a unique focus on generation, properties and applications of important reactive intermediates, (radicals, carbenes, nitrenes).  He will play a key role in the new P.O.C. Centre.

Materials Chemistry Group (Synthesis, Characterisation and Evaluation).  [15 members including 7 new appointees]

Professors: Cronin, Gregory, Jackson, Mills, Pethrick, Sherrington, Skabara.

Readers: Berlouis, Cormack, Lennon             Senior Lecturers: Hargreaves, Liggat

Lecturers: Cussen, Murrie, Price

Coverage: inorganic and organic synthetic materials chemistry, complemented by substantial characterisation facilities, targeted on development of functional materials.

Notes: Key research strengths on both campuses link strongly to Electrical Engineering at GU and Chemical Engineering at SU, to the Institute of Photonics and Physics Department at SU and the Physics & Astronomy Department at GU.  Strengthened by two key WestCHEM Chair appointments.

Scope and achievements

Cronin (2007 Philip Leverhulme Prize for molecular engineering; EPSRC Advanced Fellow; 2006-2011; 58 publications since arrival, 2002) embraces a wide portfolio in polyoxometalates, ligand design and organic chemistry, geared towards the creation of functional nano- and non-equilibrium chemical systems (including collaborative EPSRC projects towards developing artificial life and on the assembly of surface mounted nano-machines).  Work on polyoxometalates (POMs) is geared towards the creation of clusters with useful physical properties (includes industrial funding: BP, Samsung), along with fundamental studies in structure and bonding and self-assembly.  Cronin's is one of only two active groups in the world able to characterise complex POM clusters; he has a world leading position in the use of cryospray mass spectrometry to study self-assembly and supramolecular transformations.  Cronin's work also includes development of functional ligands, new classes of heterocycles, and complex ‘one-pot’ tandem reactions producing biologically active molecules (patent filed).  He has ca. 20 active international collaborations.

Polymer Chemistry includes synthesis, characterisation and application of functional materials in devices.  Cormack's international reputation for synthesis and application of functional organic polymers, including imprinted and beaded polymers, has been recognised by the prestigious RSC/SCI Macro Group UK Young Researchers’ Medal (2005).  Key breakthroughs include: (i)application ofimprinted polymeric sorbents for the molecularly-selective capture of diagnostically-important analytes present in chemically complex media (including biofluids, environmental samples and forensic samples), (ii) implementation of precipitation polymerisation as a facile yet powerful route into functional polymer particulates, and (iii) development of a polymer/SERRS-based analytical platform for ultra-sensitive molecular diagnostics applications.

Sherrington's (FRS, FRSE) internationally leading work (FRS in 2007) features exciting progress in: (i) development and exploitation of polymer supports with controlled porous morphology – extensively used worldwide for resin-supported reagents, catalysts and sorbents; (ii) expansion of his novel cost-effective and convenient methodology for synthesising branched vinyl polymers with physical properties notably different from their linear counterparts, and (iii) facilitated synthesis of mainchain optically active vinyl polymers, currently being evaluated for their advantages in three areas: as chiral chromatographic stationary phases with enhanced stability, as novel chiral catalyst supports, and as new materials for electronic and opto-electronic devices.

Pethrick (FRSE) adds key strengths in Materials Science (member, RAE Panel 28) to pioneering research in many areas of structure-property relationships in physical chemistry.  He has (i) developed a fundamental understanding of the influence of polymer structure and morphology on gas diffusion in polyethylenterephthalate and polyimides, (ii) established non-destructive dielectric analysis as a method of quantifying structure-property relations in polymers, following fifteen years of pioneering research (in a Basic Technology Initiative, new classes of UV-transparent polymer matrices are now being exploited for research in Light-Emitting Polymers and protein recognition), (iii) developed the understanding of nano-organisation on physical properties, in particular clay nano-composites that are leading to a new approach to fire-retardant flexible foams (two patents with Liggat), targeted at the aerospace industry. Another major theme for Liggat is the development of biodegradable materials for packaging and medical applications. Collaborative research programmes with industry and defence agencies are a key aspect of his research (stature indicated by four industrial consultancies).

The newly appointed WestCHEM Chair in Inorganic Materials, Gregory (EPSRC Advanced Fellow to 2002) leads our focus in this area.  Gregory works in a wide range of solid-state and materials chemistry areas, including functionality targets such as rechargeable Li batteries, hydrogen storage and conducting inorganic nanowires; his laboratory has powerful materials synthesis and characterisation capabilities, including in situ methods.  He is part of the EPSRC-funded £6M SUPERGEN hydrogen storage consortium, UKSHEC, and has many international collaborators (Austria, Czech, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand).  Among his key achievements are high gravimetric capacity (> 5wt%) hydrogen storage in new non-oxides and nanomaterials, and four-fold increase in TC in metallic and superconducting inorganic nanowires.  Strong industrial funding (ITI Energy, AWE, Dstl, Samsung), and patents (WO2004057070) show the applicability of his research. 

Cussen (Early Career Researcher, Royal Society URF) uses a diverse range of chemical systems to study the inter-dependence of crystal structure and physical behaviour.  Properties of interest include control of electronic properties of mixed metal oxides and dynamic processes in crystalline solids such as the movement of molecules through porous coordination polymers or lithium cations through ceramic oxides.

The programmes of Cronin, Gregory, Cussen (and Wilson) also involve magnetism, augmenting Murrie‘s (first academic appointment, 2004) work in molecular magnetism, focusing on the design of new nano-scale single molecule magnets (SMMs), using self-assembly of ligand-based materials.  In-house characterisation using XRD and magnetic (SQUID) measurements, is complemented by use of Central Facilities and high pressure studies (collaboration with Edinburgh). Among the highlights of Murrie's work in this area is the synthesis of a Ni21 cluster SMM, one of the largest known paramagnetic Ni(II) complexes.  Price (Early Career Researcher) focuses largely on the synthesis of magnetic materials, with a significant emphasis on the rigorous studies of magnetic behaviour of new insulating anti-ferromagnetic compounds with physically interesting spin topologies.  Price has established links with European teams of experimental physicists and theoreticians, and with ScotCHEM colleagues involved in magnetism.  Price’s impact is emphasised by high citation rates and the adoption of his materials and their derivatives by other groups.

The Centre for Heterogeneous Catalysis carries out fundamental and applied research directly relevant to industry, covering basic Inorganic and Physical Chemistry techniques.  Jackson (Director) and Lennon are full partners in the £4.4M ATHENA project, which includes Johnson-Matthey, Northwestern University and Fritz-Haber Institute; the focus for the WestCHEM group is hydrogenation/dehydrogenation research.  Jackson carries out research into catalytic processes and mechanisms (funding from BP, Johnson-Matthey, Sumitomo, Synetix).  This research, using reactors that mimic industrial production conditions, informs catalyst design so that improved catalysts can be successfully introduced into modern petrochemicals complexes.  Hargreaves' fundamental research on heterogeneous catalysis and materials chemistry includes studies of the reactivity of lattice oxygen species in magnesium oxide, inclusions of MoO3 structures in a H-ZSM-5 host (related to changes in Bronsted acid site strength), and the lability of lattice nitrogen species in the Co3Mo3N.  His more applied research addresses the production of H2, free from the presence of CO, from methane, and the use of methane as a reductant in the synthesis of topical metal phosphide catalysts for hydrotreating reactions.  This work attracts industrial funding (BP, Huntsman), and collaborations within and outside WestCHEM.  Lennon focuses on physical chemical investigations of surface reactions and on reaction kinetics, typically using a multi-technique approach (infrared, TPD, inelastic neutron scattering, DFT calculations, adsorption isotherms).  He has a long and successful record in using infrared to probe the surface morphology of a range of supported palladium catalysts (strong industrial/applied basis evidenced by significant funding from INEOS Chlor, Huntsman Urethanes, Syngenta, Sasol Technology UK and Lucite International).

Mills’ research (58 publications since 2001) spans a wide range of areas including dye and semiconductor photochemistry, solar energy conversion, redox catalysis, metal oxide dissolution, biphasic organic oxidation reactions and optical sensors.  Two current major themes are semiconductor photocatalysis and intelligent inks, with a focus on advancing fundamental knowledge and commercial application.  He collaborated with Parkin (UCL) in the lab-to-industrial scale-up of the commercial self-cleaning glass, Pilkington ActivTM, (£150M pa sales).  His patented colorimetric oxygen indicator ink technology has recently been licensed to UPM (Finland; Royalties £200k to date; projected total: £1.5M).  His strong links with industry led him to found the UK Photocatalyst Network of industrialists and academics (

Berlouis has refined the methodology for controlled growth of metal nanorod arrays, with a view to developing these ordered systems for photonics and biochemical sensor applications. Linear and non-linear optical characterisation, coupled with modelling of the optical response of these uniaxial systems, has been achieved for the first time. The synthesis and evaluation of novel hydrogen handling materials, funded by a substantial grant (£840k) from ITI Energy, involves both local (Spicer, Gregory, Wilson) and international (France, Germany) collaboration.  The work shows the importance of the synthesis and treatment conditions in elevating hydrogen storage levels in mixed metal oxides.

Skabara (Leverhulme Trust Fellow, 2005-06) synthesises and characterises complex electroactive molecules and macromolecules for organic semiconductor devices.  From an initial focus on the design and synthesis of conjugated monomers and the conversion of these materials to polymers and monodisperse oligomers, Skabara has developed a strong reputation for electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical characterisation of materials, enabling both in-house analyses and collaborative projects with industrial (MERCK, Konarka, Cidetec) and academic (UK, Europe, USA) partners.  Potential applications for his materials are widespread, with published/patented work relating to OLEDs, electrochromic devices, plastic batteries, sensors, field effect transistors and solar cells (50 papers, 2 patents since 2001).  The multidisciplinary nature of this work covers chemistry, electroactive materials, materials and energy, with capability established for in-house device fabrication and testing for electrochromic devices and plastic batteries.  This ability to fabricate and test organic semiconductor devices from synthesis through to function, in a single laboratory, is rare.

Theory, Structure and Spectroscopy Group.  [10 members, including 6 new appointees]

Professors: Barron, Gilmore, Isaacs, McGrady, Wilson, Wimperis

Readers: Hecht

Lecturers: Parkin, Senn, Tuttle

Coverage: structural chemistry, structural biology, Raman and Raman Optical Activity spectroscopy, NMR, theory and modelling, major programmes in technique development.

Notes: Key research strengths link to wide collaborations in academia and at central facilities.  Structural Chemistry strengthened by Regius Chair appointment.  High profile effort in structural biology, including Membrane Protein Structure Initiative.  New appointment in solid-state NMR.  Three WestCHEM appointments in Theory and Modelling.  Substantial equipment enhancements: X-ray diffractometers (new Cruickshank Laboratories); 5 new solution state NMR spectrometers (400-600MHz) in dedicated NMR suites, doubling our capacity for the full range of NMR investigations from solids to living systems; two solid-state NMR spectrometers.

Scope and achievements

Barron’s (FRS, FRSE) research on the theory of a variety of optical activity and related phenomena from the perspective of the molecular scattering of polarized light is definitive in the field (election as FRS in 2005).  His recent focus on ROA spectroscopy addresses forefront problems in chemical and biomolecular science, including determination of complete solution structures of smaller chiral molecules, and determination of protein and nucleic acid structures of intact viruses.  Barron’s now popular technique has provided new insights into protein misfolding and disease, and is especially valuable in the rapidly developing new field of natively unstructured proteins.  The wider applicability of ROA and related techniques is illustrated by the interest expressed within the synchrotron community; Barron is an advisor to the Diamond Light Source on implementation of this and related methods.  Hecht is closely allied with Barron as part of the ROA development team; his ongoing work on advanced laser spectroscopic techniques underpins a wide range of applications.  Hecht has developed a new UV Raman spectrograph capable of measuring sufficiently large signal-to-noise ratios faster and with higher resolution than any other UV Raman instrument described to date, forming the core of a new UV ROA instrument currently under construction in WestCHEM, which will also facilitate ROA studies using advanced light sources.

The Structural Chemistry effort within WestCHEM encompasses a broad range of theoretical, experimental and computational investigations of structure and its implications for activity in materials from enzymes to minerals.  The theoretical crystallography programme of Gilmore includes development of mathematical techniques geared at applications in structural chemistry.  The first application of cluster analysis and multivariate statistics to high-throughput powder diffraction produced the PolySNAP software, an industry standard for processing the results of high throughput crystallisation experiments.  This has been fully commercialised with a large take-up by major pharmaceutical companies (marketed by Bruker; 33 commercial users, 674k Euro sales, £63k royalties).  A parallel development in structural similarity (dSNAP, with Parkin, Wilson) has been similarly popular within the academic community (93 registered users, 20 countries), pioneering a potentially revolutionary method of mining structural databases, with applications in areas such as polymorphism.  Parkin (Early Career Researcher) has a developing programme in co-crystallisation routes for optimising physical properties of crystalline materials, and is joint investigator (with Wilson) of the Rigaku-sponsored Diffraction Development laboratory.  His work on applications of automated data mining methods includes the direct quantitative comparison of crystal structures (with Spackman, Western Australia); the potential of this “Structural Genetic Fingerprinting” in crystal design and polymorphism was featured as an RSC highlight article.  Wilson (66 publications since 2001) was appointed to the Regius Chair (in 2003) from a position in neutron scattering at RAL – his major involvement in neutron science and its wider use in chemistry continues.  His research programme builds upon this neutron work, focusing on the study and understanding of hydrogen-bonded systems.  His pioneering instrument, technique and application developments (IoP/RSC Willis Prize, 2001) have been well illustrated by his variable temperature neutron and X-ray diffraction studies, augmented by novel computational approaches to the evolution of hydrogen atoms in organic crystal structures.  The phenomenon of solid-state proton migration in hydrogen bonds, coined by Wilson, has become a hot topic in the hydrogen-bonding community, and has been followed up with a range of collaborators in the UK and internationally.  Wilson Co-Directs the P.O.C. Centre with Murphy, emphasising his interdisciplinary approach.  The protein crystallography group of Isaacs (FRSE) uses laboratory and synchrotron facilities in a broad-based programme of structural biology with a wide-range of collaborators; its interdisciplinary nature is emphasised by the recent relocation of the Isaacs group to new laboratories in the Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre.  Isaacs' work includes a range of highly significant findings, including landmark work on the light-harvesting complex LH1, culminating in the determination of the crystal structure of the integral membrane core complex and leading to a potential mechanism for the important process of transferring electrons to cytochrome b/c1.  The importance of this work has been emphasised by the basing of the UK Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (an £8M collaboration) in Isaacs’ laboratory.

McGrady’s work in Theory and Modelling tackles a diverse range of problems in inorganic chemistry, ranging from organometallic structure and bonding, through the electronic structure of high-valent metal ions, to the structural chemistry of metal chains and clusters; his 3-state model for linear tricobalt chain compounds has resolved a long-standing debate over their structural properties, prompting a new research programme to understand their potential application as components in molecular electronics.  Collaborative links are in place within WestCHEM (Cronin, Wilson, Cogdell, Life Sciences), and ScotCHEM (Macgregor, Heriot-Watt).  Senn (Early Career Researcher; Lord Kelvin Fellow) has developed theoretical and computational methods in both static and dynamic calculations with a wide range of applications from enzymes to homogeneous catalysis.  The development of hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods and their application to enzymatic reactions has led to work on halogenating enzymes involving strong collaborations within ScotCHEM (O’Hagan, St Andrews), highlighted in the elucidation of the mechanism of C-F bond formation in the first fluorinase enzyme.  Tuttle (Early Career Researcher; RSE Fellow) has developed and applied innovative computational techniques to solve a broad range of chemical questions, from materials chemistry to drug-receptor interactions.  He has developed a new method to predict spin-spin coupling constants, novel QM/MM methods to systems of biochemical importance and used DFT to study transition metal complexes.  The latter work included industrial collaborations leading to the development of modified catalysts with enhanced activity, from studies of reaction mechanism.

Wimperis (Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellow 2003-04) is acknowledged as being at the forefront of solid-state NMR development and applications.  Pioneering development successes include improving the STMAS experiment (high-resolution NMR of quadrupolar nuclei), a new variant of MQMAS, new 2D 2H NMR (allowing the study of microsecond dynamics), an "ultrafast" extension of STMAS (STARTMAS); real-time acquisition, NOE enhancements in 11B MAS NMR.  Wimperis publishes regularly in very high profile journals, on applications of these techniques to materials including dense silicate minerals modelling hydrous phases in the Earth’s mantle, mechanochemical transformations in amorphous aluminosilicates, and microsecond timescale dynamics in aluminophosphate framework materials.  Wimperis is a co-investigator on the recent £4M collaboration to establish an 850MHz (20T) solid-state NMR facility in Warwick.

Analytical Chemistry Group.  [9 members, including 3 new appointees].

Professors: Graham, Littlejohn, Smith

Reader: Jarvis.                        Senior Lecturers: Linacre, Nic Daeid.

Lecturers: Faulds, Nordon, Wark.

Coverage: nanometrology, forensic analysis, analytical techniques, environmental chemistry

Notes: (i) Centre for Molecular Nanometrology (CMN) (SRIF award £900k, Science & Innovation Award £4.8M (2005), Platform grant £803k); already grown to a sizable and prize-winning enterprise for extremely sensitive detection of biomolecules;  (ii) Specialist skills in the Centre for Forensic Science, which occupies a leading international role in this important inter-disciplinary area; (iii) Leadership of the CPACT consortium, specialising in creation of analytical techniques for the real-time control of chemical reactions and processes; (iv) Key analytical techniques in environmental chemistry play an active role in pan-European collaborations influencing urban remediation and forestry policies.

Scope and achievements

Graham (FRSE) deploys synthetic chemistry to design new biomolecular probes that can be used to create nanobiosensors for use in modern molecular nanometrology.  World-leading breakthroughs include the first multiplex genotyping of genetic disease by SERRS, the measurement of enzyme activities and selectivities at unprecedentedly low levels by SERRS and the creation of nanoparticle biosensors with unparalleled performance.  These and other advances (67 publications, 7 patents since 2001) have led to a number of major collaborative funding successes; Graham is now a leading figure in a number of multi-disciplinary consortia e.g. EPSRC Platform Grant led by Graham with Physics, Photonics and Immunology, new link between the Centre for Molecular Nanometrology and the RASOR consortium, examining new proteomic technologies (part of the new £11M IRColl in Proteomics), and the recent £4.9M Basic Technology Award (Graham/Faulds, with Kolch as PI).

Faulds (Early Career Researcher) recently joined the CMN (co-investigator on the S&I Award and Platform grant).  Her expertise in the bioanalytical applications of SERRS has produced a number of world firsts including the first quantitative analysis of DNA by SERRS, the demonstration that SERRS is more sensitive than fluorescence for simple bioanalysis and the first 5-plex detection of DNA by eye using SERRS.

Much of this nanometrology development is predicated upon Smith’s (FRSE) pioneering development of SERRS as an analytical technique.  He has developed new methods to study SERRS from nanoparticles, leading to new insights into the origins of the scattering event, improving theoretical understanding and enabling the development of practical and reliable analytical methods using SERRS detection.  This work has led to a strong IP portfolio with Graham and Faulds, resulting in a spin-out company, D3 Technologies Ltd., supported by £5M corporate investment, making it the second largest spin-out in Scotland to date. 

The most recent appointment to the CMN is Wark (Early Career Researcher) who is developing novel surface-sensitivespectroscopic techniques in conjunction with chemically modified nanostructured materials to create in situ biological sensors. Inparticular, his research in the combined use of bio-functionalisedmetallic thin films, nanoparticles and surface enzyme chemistries for ultrasensitive optical biosensing has attracted considerable recognition.

Analysis of biomolecules at extremely low concentrations also underpins Linacre's influential research in forensic analysis.  His hypersensitive assays identify single base-pair polymorphisms using controlled primer hybridization conditions to ensure specificity and sensitivity at femtogram levels of DNA.  This has enabled locus-specific probes for over 20 different and relevant animal species to be developed and is at the international forefront of wildlife-based crime-detection.  A recent BBC TV investigation on the illicit nature of popular traditional East Asian medicines focused exclusively on his hypersensitive analyses of the drug material.

Nic Daéid’s forensic science research focuses on the analytical measurement and quantification of inherent variability within and between chemically derived and synthesised matrices involved in the clandestine synthesis of illicit opiates and phenethylamine derivatives.  Ground-breaking 'chemical profiling' allies synthesis of target molecules (MDMA, methylamphetamine) with analysis by GCMS, ICPMS and IRMS to feed the development of novel chemometric methods for complex data analysis.  This work feeds directly into European initiatives in combating drug crime via the European Drugs Working Group.

RSC award-winning research by Littlejohn (FRSE) on instrumental developments in atomic spectrometry techniques and their applications in areas of clinical and environmental analysis have brought major advances in the understanding of atomisation mechanisms and interference phenomena, to the benefit of quantitative analysis at the ppb level.  He is a cofounder of the Centre for Process Analytics and Control Technologies (CPACT), a consortium involving scientists and engineers from 7 universities and 16 companies, independently acknowledged as a unique multidisciplinary forum for developments in process analysis and control technologies. Recent advances (with Nordon) in the in situ use of Raman spectrometry, NIR and MIR spectrometry and acoustics have brought new methodological tools to quantitative monitoring of unit processes (e.g. blending), chemical reactions and fermentation processes.  Nordon (Early Career Researcher, Royal Society URF) is developing spectroscopic techniques (e.g. optical, NMR and acoustic) and data analysis tools to obtain chemical and/or physical information in situ.  Her research in broadband acoustic emission methodologies and low-field NMR spectrometry for process applications has received significant acclaim and funding.  Key advances have been in the understanding of the origin of acoustic emissions from unit processes and heterogeneous reactions, and the combination of spectroscopic and chemometric data analysis methods for extraction of multivariate process information in real-time (e.g. from batch reactions).

Environmental research includes work on land remediation, innovative methods of quality control of foodstuffs and the structure and behaviour of biological materials including cellulose and other fibrous materials.  Jarvis' extensive programmes in these areas attract substantial funding from NDPBs including the Forestry Commission, and recognition as advisor on National bodies.  Breakthroughs include a novel quantitative method of determining the orientations of H-bonds by polarised FTIR, which along with 13C solid-state NMR allowed a direct comparison with crystallographically determined structures in fibres too thin for crystallography. 

3.         Research Income and Spend – Funding Support for Research Growth

Research spend has increased dramatically and monotonically over the RAE period from £2.051M in 2000-2001 to £5.982M in 2006-2007; overall 2001-2007 spend is £28.541M.  WestCHEM is a powerful added stimulus for further growth, with our EPSRC grant income more than doubling in the two years since its foundation.  The winning of S&I Awards in both Nanometrology, (£4.8M, spend started in 2006) and P.O.C. (£4.4M, spend started in October 2007) and the CRUK Programme Grant (£2.5M, spend will start in 2008) shows an excellent trajectory.  The major impact of these awards on our research spend will be seen over the coming years.

Our research has always had a strong applications focus, leading to excellent links with industry.  This was key to our successful S&I Awards, where industry committed substantial real funds.  Among the companies from which we have studentship and related funding are: Aquatron BA Systems, AstraZeneca, BASF, BNFL, BP, Bruker, Carron Phoenix, Caledonian Ferguson Timpson, CEM, Ciba, Corrocoat, Crown Holdings, Cytec, Degussa, Doosan Babcock, Fritz-Haber Institute, Fujifilm, GSK, Hoffmann LaRoche, Hunter-Fleming, Huntsman, Industrial Copolymers Ltd., INEOS-Chlor, ITI Energy, Johnson-Matthey, Lucent Technologies, Merck, Mologic, Mitsubishi, Organon, Pfizer, Philips, Pharmorphix, Rigaku, Sanofi-Aventis, Samsung, Sasol Technology UK, Sumitomo, Synetix, Syngenta, Taylor Bowls, Unilever, Wyeth.  XstalBio, although a spin-off company from our two universities, also contributes financially to the development of our Centre in P.O.C.

A very important part of the current UK chemistry scene relates to Knowledge Transfer.  We play a prominent role in this activity, having 4 current KTP partnerships with local SMEs.  We optimise the economic impact of our work through creation and nurturing of spin-out companies.  Since 2001, four such companies have been launched: (a) XstalBio, now an award-winning enterprise for exploiting P.O.C. to increase bioavailability of therapeutic medicines (Moore, and former colleague Parker), (b) D3 Technologies Ltd. (Graham, Faulds, Smith) (c) Thin Film Technology (former colleague Hitchman), (d) Antoxis (Hartley).  The applicability of our research in the marketplace is also illustrated in recent patents, (£5M royalties 2001-2007).

In addition, major charitable trusts (Wellcome, Leverhulme, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Andrew Carnegie Foundation, CCDC, Royal Society [London], RSC, RSE), Governmental and quasi-governmental organisations (Scottish Enterprise, CCLRC/STFC, Forestry Commission, Natural History Museum), and medical and biomedical collaborators (NHS, Beatson Institute, Western Infirmary) add grant income.

4          Research Students and Studentships

Research student numbers have climbed dramatically over the RAE period, from 119 in 2001 to 167 in 2007, now representing 3.24 students per academic.  WestCHEM provided funding for studentships, but our growth far exceeds that provided by the WestCHEM grant.  The numbers represent a transformed picture of activity, and, as stated in our targets (section 1.4), this student number will grow by 20% to 200 in the next 6 years, using affordable new academic appointments, together with industry links (CTA + S&I awards) to achieve this figure.

Distribution of studentships is designed (i) to encourage new appointees, including those in early-career and (ii) to incentivise WestCHEM members to raise matching funding from external sources.  Particular consideration is given to new collaborative ventures based on excellent science.  Collaborations across the WestCHEM partner campuses are also encouraged at University level through Synergy studentships.

Our research student base includes talented local graduates and students, increasingly easily recruited through the visible excellence of our local environment, and the excellent training provided to our research students.  We attract considerable numbers of students from mainland Europe, in addition to extremely high calibre students from outside the E.U.

The Research School operates a wide-ranging training programme for postgraduate researchers, fully in keeping with Roberts Report recommendations.  This programme comprises both technical (including a credit-based WestCHEM postgraduate lecture course programme) and non-technical aspects, allowing for both scientific and personal development.  Links across ScotCHEM further enhance these opportunities.  Our colloquia programme and eminent Visiting Professors (e.g. Prof. David MacMillan) expose our students to the latest and most important discoveries.  WestCHEM graduates have an excellent record of (i) winning prizes through international and national conference presentations (participation is strongly encouraged and generously financed) and (ii) employment following their doctorates, in academic and non-academic sectors.

5.         Staffing Policy – Strategy and Sustainability

Our staffing policy builds on excellence in our four core strengths: (i) synthetic and biological chemistry, (ii) materials chemistry, (iii) theory, structure and spectroscopy, (iv) analytical chemistry.  Recent appointments of Chairs [Clark, Gregory, McGrady, Percy, Skabara, Wilson], internal appointments to Chairs [Cronin, Graham, Wimperis] and our early-career appointees carry hallmarks of excellence.  We currently host 3 Royal Society University Research Fellows [Cussen, Hevia, Nordon], one RSE Scottish Executive Personal Research Fellow [Tuttle] and one Lord Kelvin Fellow [Senn]).  Our policy ensures sustainability of our research profile by tailoring appointments appropriately across the spectrum of age and experience.  Our current return includes 23 new colleagues appointed since the last RAE.

The drive to international success depends on our academic staff having sufficient time to develop and maintain high research profiles.  Teaching and administration within our two Departments are streamlined to effect this.  We operate workload models that allow a balanced distribution of tasks, allowing those who contribute most strongly to research to tailor their efforts appropriately.  Key local initiatives help further: our recent appointment of 7 PhD-qualified Demonstrators dedicated to senior roles in the management and assessment of undergraduate laboratories has dramatically liberated academic time for research.

New appointments at the start of their independent academic career are typically allocated a maximum of 20 lectures in their first year.  They also benefit from our very successful and popular mentoring system, which assists rapid career developments (e.g. Graham, Cronin) and the winning of grants both independently and as collaborators. Besides this, they routinely receive a studentship in their first two years as well as a pump-priming Faculty/Department starter grant (typically £20k at minimum). For our P.O.C. Lecturers, post-doctoral researcher resource is also provided, allowing the appointment of Lecturers with the highest research profile and ambitions.

Post-doctoral staff are also fully mentored and appraised within the arrangements that parallel those for academic staff leading to excellent employability in academic and non-academic chemistry jobs.

6.   Physical Infrastructure Investments: a modern environment for chemical research

6.1 Laboratories and Building

WestCHEM was but one part of a comprehensive transformation plan for Chemistry, and consequently aligned well with major investments already being undertaken by the partner Universities.  Thus, £16.39M of building refurbishments have been carried out over the RAE period [SRIF investment of £8.39M + £8M of University (non-SRIF) funds], with substantial further investments scheduled (>£6.25M), as the Universities have taken on board the success and aspiration of the Research School.  WestCHEM occupies three buildings, Thomas Graham and the Royal College (S.U.), and Joseph Black building (G.U.; with additional presence in the Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre).  The refurbishments have encompassed most areas occupied by WestCHEM, including synthetic and equipment laboratories (and also significant enhancement of the teaching infrastructure to cope with our large and growing Chemistry undergraduate population which has paralleled our research growth).  Fumehood numbers have expanded from 145 to 218 since RAE 2001, and there are local discussion/write-up rooms for each laboratory, fully equipped with IT provision.  The WestCHEM collaboration means that our students have access to the e-libraries of both Universities, a considerable advantage in spanning the breadth of our chemistry and collaborative research interests.

6.2       Equipment and support

This material investment is coupled with the strategic placement of core equipment in concentrated and coherent strategic instrumentation "suites".  These central instrument suites, all substantially enhanced or established since RAE2001 and available for the use of all WestCHEM researchers, include the following:

Six solution-phase NMR spectrometers (600MHz-400MHz) with access to another 600MHz equipped with cryoprobe, and two solid-phase NMR spectrometers (400MHz, 200MHz) mean that we are covered to explore all facets of NMR.  NMR services and technique developments are supported by the recent appointment of Wimperis as Professor of NMR, and by a Senior Scientific Officer and two technicians.

X-ray diffraction provision has been completely overhauled and dramatically expanded, to feature seven diffractometers (five single crystal, two powder), all equipped with variable temperature provision, and including the Rigaku Development Laboratory for crystallographic technique development.  The Robertson Protein Crystallography laboratories in GBRC include a state-of-the-art Rotating Anode Image-Plate diffractometer.

Mass spectrometry is served by new instrumentation across both campuses, including the first cryospray system available anywhere in Europe.  Our instrumentation provision is further enhanced by provision of leading-edge instrumentation in magnetic property measurements (SQUID), thermal analysis (DSC/TGA/TPD), EPR; microwave synthesis; separation science; in situ process analysis and two substantial Computing clusters.

6.3       Central Facilities: Synchrotron and Neutron Scattering

Substantial Central Facilities links are held by many members of WestCHEM, allowing access to leading-edge instrumentation at these Facilities, in the UK, Continental Europe and the USA, adding to the comprehensive suites available in the home laboratories.  The main links are held by: Barron (synchrotron, circular dichroism; Diamond, ESRF); Cussen, Gregory (major neutron users, ISIS, ILL; Gregory is a member of ISIS selection panel); Hargreaves (neutron and synchrotron user); Isaacs (major synchrotron user and advisor, SRS, ESRF, Diamond and others); Lennon (major user of neutron scattering, ISIS, member of ISIS selection panel), Wilson (former head of Crystallography, ISIS; Associate Scientist, STFC; major user of sources, ISIS, ILL, SRS, ESRF, APS (USA); Chair of ILL, member of ISIS, SINQ (Switzerland) selection panels; instrument development at ISIS, ILL, Diamond, SNS–USA).

7.         Recognition and Acknowledgement of Research Quality and Impact

7.1       WestCHEM Esteem Measures

WestCHEM research pooling (£11M; 2005)

ATHENA Project – Catalysis Consortium (£4.2M; 2002)

Science and Innovation – Nanometrology Centre (£4.8M; 2005)

Membrane Protein Structure Initiative (£8M; 2005)

Science and Innovation – P.O.C. (£4.4M; 2007)

Spin-out company XstalBio (research recognised by the Gannochy Trust Award for Innovation (Royal Society of Edinburgh) to co-founder and CEO, Marie-Claire Parker)

CRUK Programme Grant (£2.5M, 2007)

32 members of Research Council Colleges or equivalent; extensive peer-review panel membership

7.2       Major External Collaborations

Among the most prominent of these involving WestCHEM members include:

ATHENA Consortium

Membrane Protein Structure Initiative


UK Molecular Magnetism Network

CPOSS Basic Technology Consortium


COST Networks (EU)

SUPERGEN hydrogen-storage consortium UKSHEC

Bruker polySNAP development

Instrument Development Teams (TOPAS, Oak Ridge, USA; LMX, ISIS)

IRColl in Proteomics (RASOR)

Centres of Excellence and Externally Supported Research Laboratories

Centre for P.O.C. (S&IA)

Centre for Molecular Nanometrology (S&IA)

Centre for Heterogeneous Catalysis (including Johnson-Matthey & Synetix Laboratories)

BBSRC Biological Microcalorimetry Service

Rigaku Development Laboratory

UK Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis

7.3       Individual Evidence of Esteem

* “Lectures” = Conference lectures

Barron            FRS; FRSE; FRSC; FInstP

*27 invited lectures including many Plenaries

Visiting Professor, Toulouse (2003), Beijing (2004-2007)

Editorial Boards: J Raman Spectroscopy, Chemical Physics, Molecular Physics, Chirality, Topics in Stereochemistry

Berlouis         *Invited International Lectures: 7

Visiting Professorship (Lyon, 2002)

CNRS Visiting Research Fellowship (Lyon, 2007)

                        Royal Society-funded collaboration with N.R.C., Padova, Italy

Bucher           Röhm-Foundation Prize (2004)

*Invited lectures: 4

Visiting Professorship: Siegen (2002-2003)

Clark               Pfizer Academic Award (2001); Novartis European Young Investigator Award (2004)

*Invited International lectures: 10 (6 Plenaries)

Member, Organic Division Executive RSC

UK representative, Project Management Group, EU COST Action D28

Cooke             RSE Support Research Fellow (2008)

Visiting Professor: Dunkerque (2006)

RSC Regional Representative

Consultancies: Mologic, Insense

Cormack         RSC/SCI Macro Group Young Researchers Medal (2005)

*Lectures: Plenary: 2, Invited: 15

Consultancies: Unilever, GSK, Oxonica

Conference Organisation: 2

Cooper           *Lectures: 23, 12 Plenary (9 International), 7 other International

Principal Editor, Biophysical Chemistry; Editorial Boards, BMC Biochemistry, European Biophysics Journal

Consultancies: Avecia, Organon, Vicuron, Nandi Proteins Ltd

Director, UK Biological Microcalorimetry Facility

Cronin            Philip Leverhulme Award (2007), EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (2006-2011), European Young Chemist Award (Silver Medal; 2006), Nexxus Young Life Scientist of the Year (2006)

                        *Lectures: 19, 12 International

                        Visiting Professor: Ames-Iowa, Versailles, Hokkaido (all current)

                        Six papers highlighted on journal covers in 2005-06

Cussen           Royal Society University Research Fellow (2002-2010)

*Lectures: Invited: 9

Conference Organisation, 1

Faulds            *Invited Lectures: 6 (4 International)

Consultancies: Philips

Founding member of D3 Technologies Ltd

Conference Organisation, 1

Gilmore          *20 Invited International Lectures

Visiting Professor, TU Delft (2007-2008)

President, British Crystallographic Association (2000-2003); Executive Committee, International Union of Crystallography (IUCr; 2005-); Head, UK Delegation, IUCr Congress, Geneva, 2002; Honorary Life Member, BCA

Consultancies: Bruker-AXS, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline

Graham          FRSE (aged 36); RSC Analytical Grand Prix Fellowship 2002-2007;SAC Silver Medal 2004; Nexxus Young Life Scientist of the Year 2005

*Lectures: Invited: 31 (International, 17); Plenary: 1; Keynote: 1

Consultancies: Philips, CSS, MOD, Avecia

Research grant income over RAE period (£3.8M as P.I.; £25.5M as Co-I.)

Gregory          EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (to 2002); FRSC, FIMM (IO3M), FIoN

*Lectures: Invited 11, 8 International (7 Keynote, 1 Plenary)

RSC Materials Chemistry Forum Executive, RSC Solid State Group and Chemical Nanoscience Group

Conference organisation, 2

Halling            FRSE

*Lectures: Invited 23 (including 3 plenaries)

Scientific Director, UK Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture

Editorial boards: Biotechnology & Bioengineering; Enzyme & Microbial Technology; Journal of Molecular Catalysis; Biocatalysis & Biotransformations; BMC Biotechnology

Hargreaves   Member, RSC Faraday Council; Secretary, RSC Surface Reactivity and Catalysis Group; Committee, RSC Thermal Analysis Group

UK Representative, International Association of Catalysis Societies; Scientific Advisory Board, 14th International Congress of Catalysis (Seoul, 2008)

Guest Editor, Catalysis Today

Consultancies: BNFL, Oxonica

Hartley            Lectures: 27 invited (6 at *International Meetings)

                        Spin-out company (Antoxis, see

                        Patents filed: 1

Conference organisation: 2

Hecht              Patent filing for novel Raman spectrograph

Hevia              Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2006-); Marie-CurieFellowship (2004-2005); Ramon-y-Cajal Fellowship, Spain (2006)

                        *Invited lecture: 1

Isaacs             FRSE

Lectures include 9 *International Keynotes

International Advisory Board, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute f Biophysics, Beijing 2003-2007; Vice-Chair, Board of Governors, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (2007-2009); Scientific Advisory Committee, wwPDB; Steering Board of PIMS; Chair, CCP4, 1993 –2003

Director, Membrane Protein Structure Initiative; Management Committee, ESRF BM14

Jackson          *International Lectures: 28, Keynotes 3; Plenaries 1

EPSRC Chemistry Strategic Advisory Team

Secretary and UK representative, EFCATS (European Federation of Catalysis Societies); Chairman, RSC Surface Reactivity and Catalysis Group

Conference Organisation: 4

Jarvis            *International Lectures: 9, Keynotes 2

Management Board, Scottish Integrated Research in Timber;

Programme Manager, EC COST Project E-50 CEMARE

Conference Organisation: 3 (one International Scientific Committee)

Kerr                *Lectures: Plenary: 4, Invited: 9

Visiting Professorship: (Lodz, 2005)

Assessor: International Grants (Ireland, USA, France, South Africa), Nuffield Foundation, EPSRC Panel member: 5

External Training and Review Lecturer: AstraZeneca, Organon, Pfizer,

Biovitrum, Scientific Update

Kocovsky       *Invited/Plenary lectures: 14, including Ciba Lecture, Negishi-Brown Inaugural Lecture

Editorial Boards: Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun., Curr. Org. Chem, J. Mol. Catal. A; Advisory Board, Czech Academy of Science; Guest Editor, Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun.; Guest Editor: Tetrahedron Symposium-in-Print

Consultancies: NovoNordisk; 2 Organocatalysts commercialised by Sigma-Aldrich

Conference organisation: 7 (International Advisory Board, OMCOS).

Lennon           *International Invited Lectures: 7

Chair, ISIS Molecular Spectroscopy User Group (2007-)

Consultancies: INEOS Chlor, Huntsman Urethanes, Syngenta, Sasol, Lucite International

ISIS Facility Access Panel (2002-2008); Advisor, NSERC Canada

Liggat             Consultancies: Carron Phoenix, DuPont Teijin Films, Invista, Vantico.

Conference Organisation: 1

Committee, Polymer Degradation Discussion Group

                        Patents: 1, plus 1 published application

Linacre           *Lectures: Plenary: 1; Keynote: 2; Invited: 17 (16 international)

Visiting Professor: Bangkok (2006-)

DNA Advisor, International Council for the Red Cross; Foreign and Commonwealth Office Nominated Assessor on International Cases involving DNA identification; Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners

Editorial Board: Forensic Science International

Littlejohn       FRSE.

RSC Theophilus Redwood Lectureship (2001-2002); RSC Industrial Award in Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation (2005)

*Invited Lectures: 38; (20 international; 6 Keynotes)

Advisory Board - Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry

Malkov           *Lectures; Plenary: 2, Invited: 4

Co-Editor, Tetrahedron Symposium-in-Print

Conference organisation: 2 (including International Symposium)

Marquez         Lectures: 9 Invited, one international

                        Patents filed: 1

McGrady        JWT Jones Travelling Fellowship (RSC) 2004

*International Invited lectures: 2

Co-organiser, Faraday Discussion 124 (Quantum Inorganic Chemistry)

Invited co-editor, 2 volumes, Springer-Verlag

Mills                *Lectures: Invited: 31; Plenary: 5

Consultancies: Ciba, Reckitt Benckiser, Crown Holdings, Pilkington Glass, Millennium Chemicals; Member: British Standards Committee

Editorial Boards: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology; Journal of Fluorescence

International conference organization: 4

Moore             *Lectures: Invited: 5

Chair, Therapeutic Biomolecule Focus group, Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Elected Scientific Secretary of European Association of Pharma Biotechnology (

Deputy Scientific Director, UK Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (2005- )

Co-founder and Science Director, XstalBio Ltd

Mulvey           FRSE; Royal Society Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2004).

RSC Main Group Element Award (2001)

*Lectures; Plenary:1, Invited: 8

Visiting Professorship: Oviedo (2007)

Murrie            *Invited lectures: 2, Keynote: 1

                        Institutional Co-ordinator, UK Molecular Magnetism Network

Murphy           FRSE; Royal Society Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2001)

International Lectures* Invited: 12, including Plenary: 7

Presidential Visiting Professorship (NAIST, Japan 2001); Visiting Professor (Paris, 2004); Visiting Fellowship (A.N.U., Canberra, 2007)

Peer-Reviewed Research Funding (2001-2007), £8.4M: (i) P.I. £1.5M, (ii) Co-I; S&I award £4.4M, CRUK programme grant £2.5M

Nic Daeid       *Lectures; Keynote: 2 Invited: 9

Member, Council of the Forensic Science Society (2002 -); Lead Assessor, Council for Registration of Forensic Practitioners; Manager, Forensic Science Society Professional awards; Assessor, Forensic Science Society University accreditation scheme; Deputy Chair, ENFSI European working group for Fire and Explosion Investigation; Member European Drugs working group

Conference organisation: 10

Multiple consultancies as expert court witness, Criminal and Civil


Nordon           Royal Society University Research Fellow (2004-2009)

*Lectures; Invited: 5

Conference organisation: 1

O’Hara            *Lectures; Invited: 2

Conference organisation: 1

Ritchie Prize (2004)

Parkin             CCDC Young Scientist Award, 2007

*Invited Lectures: 4, 1 international

Inaugural Chair, BCA Young Crystallographers Group; Committees: BCA Chemical Crystallography Group; RSC West of Scotland Branch

Conference organisation: 2

Percy              JSPS Senior Visiting Scientist Fellowship (2004) U. Okayama

*Lectures: Invited: 15 including International Keynote: 9

Editor, Book Volume (Science of Synthesis, Volume 34, 2005, Thieme)

Consultancies: Asahi Glass, Stylacats, FujiFilm

Pethrick         FRSE.

RAE2008 Panel Membership (UoA 28); Assessor, International Review of Polymer Science in Denmark, 2001

Consultancies: Corrocoat, Dupont Teijin Films, Cytec; Expert witness: 3 cases including major case in High Court, London

Editorial Boards: International Journal of Polymeric Materials, Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology; Editor, Polymer Yearbook

Price               EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (to 2004)

Senn               Lord Kelvin Fellowship; Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship for Young Scientists (2001); Max Planck Society Research Fellowship (2002-2005)

Invited Lectures: 3 international

Sherrington   FRS; FRSE; RSC/SCI MacroGroup Silver Medallist 2002

*Lectures: International Plenary, 16; Chairman: Gordon Conference (Polymers) 2004

Visiting Professor: Bordeaux (2001)

Editorial Boards: Chemical Communications; European Polymer Journal; Reactive and Functional Polymers; Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Skabara          Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2005)

*Invited Lectures 11; Plenary: 1; Keynote: 6

Visiting Research Fellow, UCLA (2006)

International Grant Assessor (Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Israel, [EPSRC Panel member: 5])

Smith              FRSE

Faraday Discussion 132 Chairman (2005); Invited lectures: 15

Co-founder, D3 Technologies Ltd., 2nd largest ever spin-out company in Scotland

Book authorship, 1; Book Chapters, 5

Spicer             *Invited Lectures: 3

Consultancies: Crystallografx; Arrow Pharmaceuticals

International Grant Reviewer (USA, Czech)

Conference organisation: 1

Suckling         OBE, services to Science and Higher Education 2006; FRSE;           FRCPSGlas (College of Physicians and Surgeons); FRCSEdin; Chair,                                                                                NHS Scotland Committee for Consultants' Distinction Awards                                                                                    (assessing research and other contributions)

Patents: 6; Royalties £4.7M (2001-2007)

Originator of the SU/GU Synergy collaboration.  Leading to two notable successes: (a) £20M YRING Neurosciences programme in Glasgow (Yoshitomi/Mitsubishi); (b) WestCHEM

Chair, 23rd International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry, Glasgow, 2011 (leader of 1st successful UK bid for this 1,000 delegate congress, awarded 2007)

Tuttle              Royal Society of Edinburgh Scottish Executive Personal Research Fellow (2007-2010); Max Planck Society Research Fellowship (2004- 2006); Adlerbertska Hospitiestiftelsen (Academic Achievement Award) (2003-2004)

*Lectures: Invited: 2

Publications include 10 papers in JACS, Angewandte Chemie; Tuttle leading role in 9 of these

Wark               NSF Small Business Innovation Grant, USA (2003, Wark as PI)

3 international patents

                        Lindemann Trust Fellowship (2001)

Wilson            FRSC; FInstP; IoP/RSC BTM Willis Prize for Neutron Scattering, 2001

*30 Invited lectures, 18 International; 3 Keynote Lectures; 6 International Programme/Advisory Committees (including ECA, ICNS)

Visiting Professorships: Durham (2001-2006); Tennessee (2006)

President, British Crystallographic Association (2003-2006); Deputy Chair, STFC PALS Advisory Board (P/T secondment; 2007-); Chair, ILL, Grenoble, Diffraction Selection Panel (2007-); ILL Scientific Council (2007-); IoP Membership & Qualifications Board (2007-); Executive Committee, European Crystallographic Association (2003-2006); Head, UK Delegation, IUCr Congress, Florence (2005)

Wimperis        Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2003-2004

*Invited Lectures: 13 (9 International)

Committee Member, BRSG: The Magnetic Resonance Group (IoP); Judging Committee, 2004 RSC Award

National Management Committee, 850 MHz Solid-State NMR Facility, Warwick