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Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry course timetable

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Sat 25 Feb – Wed 24 May

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February 2017

Mon 27
BIO3 Multidomain Biosynthetic Enzymes: PKS & NRPS [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Polyketides, made by polyketide synthases (PKS), and non-ribosomal peptides, made by non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPS) are futher large classes of natural products containing very important medicinal compounds, including antibiotics erthyromycin (PKS), penicillins and vancomycin (NRPS). Unlike the alkaloids and terpenes, which are made by a succession of steps catalysed by monofunctional enzymes, polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides are generally made by huge multifunctional proteins, to which the starting material is tethered at the start of the process and then extended and modified by a series of domains in the protein, before finally being released at the end of the chain. This lecture will look at the mechanisms involved and the organisation of these "molecular production lines".

Tue 28
FS12 Managing Your Relationship with Your Supervisor [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

The relationship between a PhD student and their supervisor can be one of the most important relationships in a scientist’s career. This session will discuss what makes a successful relationship and how to manage any difficulties that might arise.

March 2017

Wed 1
BIO4 Engineering Biosynthetic Pathways in Drug Discovery [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Naturally produced polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides possess a broad range of important biological activities and have the potential to be developed into potent pharmacological drugs. The assembly of these natural products has been the subject of intensive protein engineering efforts to produce tailored and improved analogues that perform desired biological activities. In this lecture a researcher from Isomerase Therapeutics Ltd will discuss strategies to modify the production lines of modular biosynthetic systems introduced in the previous lecture, and will present the concepts used to create 'designer' natural products that act as pharmacological agents, using real-life examples from Isomerase's portfolio.

Fri 3
BIO5 Biocatalysis in Organic Synthesis [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Enzymes, which essentially catalyse all the reactions that occur in nature, generally show exquisite enantioselectivity. This has made them very useful in synthetic processes where the target molecule is a single enantiomer (as is often the case for pharmaceuticals). In this lecture we will look at some of the advantages and issues involved in using enzymes in synthesis. Some enzymes carry out reactions with other types of selectivity that is hard to achieve synthetically, and elucidating biosynthetic pathways provides a vast resource of potential enzymes for synthesis. Some examples of this will be described.

Thu 9
FS15 Creating Publication Quality Figures: Plotting Data new [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

This 1 hour lecture will take a tour through the pitfalls of plotting and point the path towards better figures! We will cover the common mistakes and general principles of plotting various types of data including time-series, statistical and geospatial. We will conclude with pointers towards making better graphics and review graphic producing software.

Fri 10
FS15 Creating Publication Quality Figures: Images & Media new [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

This course is under development

Mon 13
CP3 Writing an Effective Fellowship Proposal [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Professor Scherman will outline how to go about writing an effective fellowship proposal, in order that participants may have a realistic and practical idea of what this entails.

Speaker Biography: Oren Scherman graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a BA in Chemistry in 1999. He was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowship and moved to Pasadena, California, where he completed a PhD in 2004 in the area of olefin metathesis and controlled polymerisation, under the supervision of Professor Robert H. Grubbs at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). After finishing his PhD, Oren was awarded an NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Distinguished Research Fellow (MPS-DRF) International Postdoctoral Fellowship and moved to the Netherlands to work on supramolecular polymers with Professors E.W. Meijer and Rint P. Sijbesma at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2006, he moved to the University of Cambridge to take up an academic appointment as a University Lecturer and Next Generation Fellow in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis in the Department of Chemistry. In 2012, he was promoted to Reader in Supramolecular and Polymer Chemistry and in March 2013, he was appointed as the Director of the Melville Laboratory and recently to Professor in 2015. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Oren was on sabbatical at Tsinghua University as the Xuetang Visiting Professor in Chemistry. His research group is interested in dynamic supramolecular self-assembly at interfaces. Oren’s current research projects include the application of macrocyclic host-guest chemistry using cucurbit[n]urils in the development of novel supramolecular hydrogels and microcapsules, drug-delivery systems based on dynamic hydrogels, the conservation and restoration of important historical artefacts through the exploitation of supramolecular polymer chemistry and sensing and catalysis using self-assembled nanophotonic systems.

Tue 14
CP1 Careers Options [Places] 11:00 - 14:30 Unilever Lecture Theatre

PhDs in the physical science and technology disciplines have plenty of options once they graduate. In this interactive session we will look at the pros and cons of different career options. You will have a chance to think about what you want your work to do for you and what you can offer employers, and you will learn ways to find out more about jobs you are interested in.

Speaker Biography: Dr Madelaine Chapman graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc in chemistry. She went on to complete a PhD at the same institution, focussing on the electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation of a novel conducting polymer. She then joined the Royal Society of Chemistry, where she worked for five years in journal publishing before joining the University of Cambridge as a careers adviser, initially for research staff in the physical sciences and technology, and now also for students interested in a wide range of careers.

Wed 15
CP4 Writing an Effective Grant Application [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Todd-Hamied

Professor Scherman will outline how to go about writing an effective grant application in order that participants may have a realistic idea of what this entails, should they be required to do so at any point.

Speaker Biography: Oren Scherman graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a BA in Chemistry in 1999. He was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowship and moved to Pasadena, California, where he completed a PhD in 2004 in the area of olefin metathesis and controlled polymerisation, under the supervision of Professor Robert H. Grubbs at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). After finishing his PhD, Oren was awarded an NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Distinguished Research Fellow (MPS-DRF) International Postdoctoral Fellowship and moved to the Netherlands to work on supramolecular polymers with Professors E.W. Meijer and Rint P. Sijbesma at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In 2006, he moved to the University of Cambridge to take up an academic appointment as a University Lecturer and Next Generation Fellow in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis in the Department of Chemistry. In 2012, he was promoted to Reader in Supramolecular and Polymer Chemistry and in March 2013, he was appointed as the Director of the Melville Laboratory and recently to Professor in 2015. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Oren was on sabbatical at Tsinghua University as the Xuetang Visiting Professor in Chemistry. His research group is interested in dynamic supramolecular self-assembly at interfaces. Oren’s current research projects include the application of macrocyclic host-guest chemistry using cucurbit[n]urils in the development of novel supramolecular hydrogels and microcapsules, drug-delivery systems based on dynamic hydrogels, the conservation and restoration of important historical artefacts through the exploitation of supramolecular polymer chemistry and sensing and catalysis using self-assembled nanophotonic systems.

Fri 17
CP2 Applications and Selections [Places] 11:00 - 14:30 U202

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Mon 20
FS3 Integrity and Ethics in Research [Places] 12:00 - 15:00 Todd-Hamied

A thorough awareness of issues relating to research ethics and research integrity are essential to producing excellent research. The first part of this session will provide an introduction to the ethical responsibilities of researchers at the University, the second will focus on publication ethics and both will be interactive, using case studies to better understand key ethical issues and challenges in all areas.

There are two sessions running, you need attend only one.

These sessions are held by Drs Emily Skinner (Publishing Ethics Specialist, RSC) and Rhys Morgan (Cambridge University Research Strategy Office)

Thu 23
IS3 Research Information Skills [Places] 09:00 - 11:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

This compulsory course will equip you with the skills required to manage the research information you will need to gather throughout your graduate course, as well as the publications you will produce yourself. It will also help you enhance your online research profile and measure the impact of research.

FS1 Successful Completion of a Research Degree [Places] 14:00 - 15:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

An hour devoted to a discussion of how to plan your time effectively on a day to day basis, how to produce a dissertation/thesis (from first year report to MPhil to PhD) and the essential requirements of an experimental section.

This is a compulsory session for 1st year post-graduates.

FS2 Dignity@Study [Places] 15:00 - 16:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

The University of Cambridge is committed to protecting the dignity of staff, students, visitors to the University, and all members of the University community in their work and their interactions with others. The University expects all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others. Nick will explore what this means for graduate students in this Department and the session will conclude with tea/coffee and biscuits, in order to provide an opportunity to ask questions more informally.

Fri 24
IS4 Research Data Management [Places] 09:00 - 11:00 Todd-Hamied

This compulsory session introduces Research Data Management (RDM) to Chemistry PhD students. It is highly interactive and utilises practical activities throughout.

Key topics covered are:

  • Research Data Management (RDM) - what it is and what problems can occur with managing and sharing your data.
  • Data backup and file sharing - possible consequences of not backing up your data, strategies for backing up your data and sharing your data safely.
  • Data organisation - how to organise your files and folders, what is best practice.
  • Data sharing - obstacles to sharing your data, benefits and importance of sharing your data, the funder policy landscape, resources available in the University to help you share your data.
  • Data management planning - creating a roadmap for how not to get lost in your data!

Lunch and refreshments are included for this course

May 2017

Tue 2
IS3 Research Information Skills [Places] 09:00 - 11:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

This compulsory course will equip you with the skills required to manage the research information you will need to gather throughout your graduate course, as well as the publications you will produce yourself. It will also help you enhance your online research profile and measure the impact of research.

A short break for refreshments will be included

IS1 Chemistry Library Orientation [Places] 14:15 - 14:45 Library

This is a compulsory session which introduces new graduate students to the Department of Chemistry Library and its place within the wider Cambridge University Library system. It provides general information on what is available, where it is, and how to get it. Print and online resources are included.

You must choose one session out of the 9 sessions available.

Wed 3
IS4 Research Data Management [Places] 09:00 - 11:00 Todd-Hamied

This compulsory session introduces Research Data Management (RDM) to Chemistry PhD students. It is highly interactive and utilises practical activities throughout.

Key topics covered are:

  • Research Data Management (RDM) - what it is and what problems can occur with managing and sharing your data.
  • Data backup and file sharing - possible consequences of not backing up your data, strategies for backing up your data and sharing your data safely.
  • Data organisation - how to organise your files and folders, what is best practice.
  • Data sharing - obstacles to sharing your data, benefits and importance of sharing your data, the funder policy landscape, resources available in the University to help you share your data.
  • Data management planning - creating a roadmap for how not to get lost in your data!

Lunch and refreshments are included for this course

Fri 5
FS4 Unconscious Bias new [Places] 13:00 - 14:30 Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Unconscious Bias refers to the biases we hold that are not in our conscious control. Research shows that these biases can adversely affect key decisions in the workplace. The session will enable you to work towards reducing the effects of unconscious bias for yourself and within your organisation. Using examples that you will be able to relate to, we help you to explore the link between implicit bias and the impact on the organisation. The overall aim of the session is to provide participants with an understanding of the nature of Unconscious Bias and how it impacts on individual and group attitudes, behaviours and decision-making processes.

Wed 10
DD1 The Drug Discovery Process [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Drug discovery is a complex multidisciplinary process with chemistry as the core discipline. A small molecule New Chemical Entity (NCE) (80% of drugs marketed) has had its genesis in the mind of a chemist. A successful drug is not only biologically active (the easy bit), but is also therapeutically effective in the clinic – it has the correct pharmacokinetics, lack of toxicity, is stable and can be synthesised in bulk, selective and can be patented. Increasingly, it must act at a genetically defined sub-population of patients. Medicinal chemists therefore work at the centre of a web of disciplines – biology, pharmacology, molecular biology, toxicology, materials science, intellectual property and medicine. This fascinating interplay of disciplines is the intellectual space within which a chemist has to make the key compound that will become an effective medicine. It happens rarely, despite enormous investment in time, money and effort. What factors make a program successful? I would like to briefly outline the process, but importantly to offer some key with examples of success

Fri 12
DD2 The Drug Discovery Process [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Drug discovery is a complex multidisciplinary process with chemistry as the core discipline. A small molecule New Chemical Entity (NCE) (80% of drugs marketed) has had its genesis in the mind of a chemist. A successful drug is not only biologically active (the easy bit), but is also therapeutically effective in the clinic – it has the correct pharmacokinetics, lack of toxicity, is stable and can be synthesised in bulk, selective and can be patented. Increasingly, it must act at a genetically defined sub-population of patients. Medicinal chemists therefore work at the centre of a web of disciplines – biology, pharmacology, molecular biology, toxicology, materials science, intellectual property and medicine. This fascinating interplay of disciplines is the intellectual space within which a chemist has to make the key compound that will become an effective medicine. It happens rarely, despite enormous investment in time, money and effort. What factors make a program successful? I would like to briefly outline the process, but importantly to offer some key with examples of success

Wed 17
DD3 Modern Tactics to Optimise Potency [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

When you have 1000s of possible compounds you could make from any one start point what do you make first? This lecture will cover some general basic principles on designing more potent molecules, as well as some practical tips on how to run an optimization program and how to focus synthetic efforts. Binding modalities (reversible, covalent) will be briefly covered, as well as some newer non-traditional modalities. This lecture will also serve as an introduction to the medicinal chemistry game

Dr F Goldberg - AstraZeneca

Fri 19
DD4 Workshop: Medicinal Chemistry Game [Places] 13:00 - 17:00 Todd-Hamied

A real drug discovery example will be used. After a brief introduction to the task and the chemical startpoint, we will split into teams and iteratively try to design improved analogues. Molecules will be marked “in real time” during the session to recreate the design-make-test-analysis cycle, then teams can compare their optimized molecules, and we can compare them to what happened in real life.

Dr F Goldberg - AstraZeneca

Mon 22
DD5 Pharmacokinetics [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Predicting and controlling how a chemical molecule will be processed by the body is vital to developing a successful drug. This lecture will discuss the path a molecule takes from initial dose through to elimination, describe the ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion) processes that take place and how these are related to compound structure and physicochemical properties. In addition to standard small molecule PK some other new modalities will be also be introduced to illustrate how methods such as PEGylation and lipoparticle encapsulation can be employed to modulate compound pharmacokinetic properties.

Dr R Ian Storer - AstraZeneca

Wed 24
DD6 Toxicity and Drug Safety [Places] 13:00 - 14:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre

Drug safety remains the primary cause of compound attrition when developing new medicines and consequently the ability to understand and predict toxicity is regarded as high priority within the pharmaceutical sector. This lecture will describe some common safety liabilities and ongoing work to build a greater understanding of the relationships between chemical structure and toxicity risk that are being harnessed to guide the design of safer compounds

Dr R Ian Storer - AstraZeneca