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Chemistry: Careers - Dealing with Difficult Times new Tue 5 May 2020   11:00 Finished

The current situation is a difficult one, with labs closed, and the need for home-working (where possible). It is particularly challenging for those thinking about their post-Ph.D careers, where communication with potential employers is cut-off and job offers are being put back or cancelled.

This session is aimed at Ph.D students, especially those that are ‘in limbo’, unable to work in the Lab, isolated at home or whose job offers may have been delayed or cancelled.

Kevin Parker will narrate his own work experience, firstly at an Oil Company and then freelancing for 25 years, both in terms of what he did and the key personal skills needed to carry out each job.

The session will finish with an overview of the skills various important employers are looking for in graduate recruits, along with advice on how to survive job-hunting and/or home working.

Stuart Cantrill (Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry) will discuss the publishing process and what goes on in the editorial office, as well as providing some guidance on how to write a paper, how to write an abstract and some DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to titles and graphical abstracts. There will also be broader consideration of peer review in general, the wider chemistry publishing landscape and also other aspects such as metrics (impact factor, altmetrics, etc) and the use of social media.

This session will take place via Zoom, please register at https://tinyurl.com/ydh5ar3l

The session will cover the use of electronic laboratory notebook which is a computer programme designed to replace laboratory notebooks. ELN will help the users to document research, experiments and procedures performed in a laboratory.

An applied introduction to probabilistic modelling, machine learning and artificial intelligence-based approaches for students with little or no background in theory and modelling. The course will be taught through a series of case studies from the current literature in which modelling approaches have been applied to large datasets from chemistry and biochemistry. Data and code will be made available to students and discussed in class. Students will become familiar with python based tools that implement the models though practical sessions and group based assignments.

The course will introduce the general methodology of model development, including techniques for model identification and parameter estimation. The idea of model-based design of experiments will be introduced and linked to parameter estimation. Tools for model development and MBDoE will also be introduced.

Chemistry plays a very crucial role in tackling 21st century global challenges. From climate change mitigation to discovering therapeutic strategies for human health and driving sustainable energy production and usage - we are faced with many challenges for which chemical sciences has been providing and will continue to provide many plausible solutions.

Much of the research involved in developing these initiatives requires a huge drive towards interdisciplinary research networks. As such, this course has been developed with some of our colleagues from across the Chemistry Department who are working on exciting and emerging areas with this multidisciplinary focus.

This course will introduce how chemistry can be used as a tool to solve these challenges. First session will include the introduction. Each lecture following this will focus on a different branch, area or concept of chemistry covering the fundamental chemistry and background of how it works, any advances to date and the applications towards tackling these global challenges.

The first session is compulsory, plus choose optional sessions you wish to attend when you make your booking.

  • Session 1: Introduction
  • Session 2: Organic Electronics
  • Session 3: Electrochemistry (Batteries)

PhD students have plenty of options once you 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 in which you are interested. It is recommended that you attend both sessions.

  • Session 1 - What jobs are out there and deciding what is ‘right’ for me?

Chemistry PhD students have many options after graduation. In this 1-hour session we will explore the pros and cons of different career choices. We will also consider how to assess which options would work for you.

  • Session 2 - Career options for PhDs in chemistry

In this second 1-hour session we will focus on generating specific job ideas, how you might structure your careers ‘research’, key questions to ask and timelines for starting your ‘search’ for your next step after Cambridge.

Starting to apply for jobs both in and outside academia? Preparing for an interview? Not sure how to target your application, what to include and what to leave out. In this session you can learn more about how selection processes work including how to put together a CV and cover letter and how to prepare for job interviews. The workshop will include interactive exercises, a review of successful application materials, and discussions.

Chemistry: CT10 Vibrational Spectroscopy new Thu 12 Dec 2019   10:00 Finished

Spectroscopic methods in biochemistry and biophysics are powerful tools to characterise the chemical properties of samples in chemistry and biology, including molecules, macromolecules, living organisms, polymers and materials. Within the wide class of biophysical methods, infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a sensitive analytical label-free tool able to identify the chemical composition and properties of a sample through its molecular vibrations, which produce a characteristic fingerprint spectrum. An infrared spectrum is commonly obtained by passing infrared radiation through a sample and determining what fraction of the incident radiation is absorbed at a particular energy. The energy at which any peak in an absorption spectrum appears corresponds to the frequency of a vibration of a part of a sample molecule. One of the great advantages of infrared spectroscopy is that virtually any sample in virtually any state may be studied, such as liquids, solutions, pastes, powders, films, fibres, gases and surfaces can all be examined. In this introductory course, the basic ideas and definitions associated with infrared spectroscopy will be described. First, the possible configurations of the spectrometers used to measure IR absorption will be discussed. Then, the vibrations of molecules, inorganic and organic chemical compounds, as well as large biomolecules will be introduced, as these are crucial to the interpretation of infrared spectra in every day experimental life.

This session is compulsory for all experimentalists to attend and will provide useful information regarding analytical facilities at this Department including NMR, Mass Spectrometry, X-ray Crystallography, Microanalysis and Electron Microscopy. Short descriptions will be given of all available instruments, as well as explain the procedures for preparing/submitting samples for the analysis will also be discussed.

Once you book on to this course, you will receive a link to preregister for this course on Zoom.

Chemistry: CT2 An Introduction to Mass Spec Processing Tue 20 Oct 2020   14:00 Finished

This training will consist of two sessions, introducing you to use of both Water's MS software and MassLynx and Bruker and Thermo's MS software: MALDI and Orbitrap.

Once you book on the course you will receive a link to preregister on Zoom.

Chemistry: CT2 Fundamentals of Mass Spectrometry Mon 4 Nov 2019   10:00 Finished

Mass spectrometry is one of the main analytical-chemical techniques used to characterise organic compounds and their elemental composition. This overview will discuss some of the most frequently used mass spectrometry techniques and their specific strengths (e.g., quadrupole, time-of-flight and high-resolution MS), as well as ionisation techniques such as electron ionisation (EI), electrospray ionisation (ESI), matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) and MS techniques to quantify metal concentrations (e.g. inductively coupled plasma MS, ICP-MS) and isotope ratios.

This course will provide an idea of what kind of scientific problems can be solved by solid state NMR. It will cover how NMR can be used to study molecular structure, nanostructure and dynamics in the solid state, including heterogeneous solids, such as polymers, MOFs, energy-storage and biological materials This course will build on a basic working knowledge of solution-state NMR for 1H and 13C, i.e. undergraduate level NMR. In order to highlight the utility of this technique, some materials based research using solid state NMR will also be covered.

This session will be delivered via Zoom.

Chemistry: CT4 Solution Phase NMR Spectroscopy Fri 8 Nov 2019   14:00 Finished

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy represents one of the most informative and widely used techniques for characterisation of compounds in the solution and solid state. Most researchers barely tap into the potential of the experiments that are available on the instruments in the Department, so in this short course we will explore the basic concepts that will allow you to make the most of these powerful techniques for routine analysis, as well as introducing more specialised experiments.

The session will also give an insight into some of the more advanced features of the software, and how to optimise your workflow.

Chemistry: CT7 X-Ray Crystallography Mon 16 Nov 2020   10:00 [Places]

These lectures will introduce the basics of crystallography and diffraction, assuming no prior knowledge. The aim is to provide an overview that will inspire and serve as a basis for researchers to use the Department’s single-crystal and/or powder X-ray diffraction facilities or to appreciate more effectively results obtained through the Department’s crystallographic services. The final lecture will be devoted to searching and visualising crystallographic data using the Cambridge Structural Database system.

Chemistry: CT8 Electron Microscopy Thu 5 Dec 2019   14:00 CANCELLED

This lecture will provide an overview of the Department’s electron microscopy facility. It will cover the theory of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), including cryo-TEM and tomography, as well as analytical techniques Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Examples of how these techniques can be used to characterise a range of samples including polymers, proteins and inorganic materials will be shown.

Chemistry: CT9 Atomic Force Microscopy Mon 18 Nov 2019   10:00 Finished

Since introduction in 1986 by Binnig, Quate and Gerber, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as one of the most powerful scanning probe microscopy technique. The possibility to acquire three-dimensional morphology maps of specimens on a surface in both air and in their native liquid environment with sub-nanometre resolution makes it a very versatile single molecule technique. A conventional AFM topography map provides valuable information on the morphology and structure of heterogeneous biological samples, while single molecule force spectroscopy can interrogate the biophysical and nanomechanical properties of the sample at the nanoscale. Furthermore, the combination of AFM with spectroscopic modes enable to enquire the optical properties of the sample with nanoscale resolution. In these introductory lectures, the general capabilities of AFM with respect to other scanning probe and electron microscopy techniques will be discussed. The general principles governing the functioning of AFM in contact and tapping mode will be given, as well as the principles enabling the study of nanomechanical properties of samples by force spectroscopy and nanomechanical imaging. Other modes such as scattering SNOM, AFM-IR and Raman will be generally discussed. The course will provide the necessary background to acquire a morphology map by AFM. The last session will consist of a hand-on session introducing the students to the use and functioning of an AFM instrument.

Chemistry: DD10 Process Chemistry Workshop new Tue 3 Mar 2020   10:00 Finished

In this session, Dr. Mukund S. Chorghade will discuss the pivotal role played by Process Chemistry / Route Selection in the progress of a drug from conception to commercialization. The medicinal chemistry routes for synthesis are usually low yielding and are fraught with capricious reactions, cryogenic temperatures, tedious chromatography and problems in scale-up to multi-kilo and multi-ton levels. Considerable research efforts have to be expended in developing novel, cost efficacious and scalable processes and seamlessly transferring these technologies to manufacturing operations. These principles will be exemplified by process development case studies on a variety of pharmaceutical moieties such as anti-epileptic and an anti-asthma drugs. We were able to also discover a large number of New Chemical Entities by our new “Process Chemistry Driven Medicinal Chemistry”

We will exemplify advances in proprietary in vitro green chemistry-based technology, mimicking in vivo metabolism of several chemical entities used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and agrochemicals. Our catalysts enable prediction of metabolism patterns with soft-spot analysis Metabolites are implicated in adverse drug reactions and are the subject of intense scrutiny in drug R&D. Present-day processes involving animal studies are expensive, labor-intensive and chemically inconclusive. Our catalysts (azamacrocycles) are sterically protected and electronically activated, providing speed, stability and scalability. We predict structures of metabolites, prepare them on a large scale by oxidation, and elucidate chemical structures. Comprehensive safety evaluation enables researchers to conduct more complete in vitro metabolism studies, confirm structure and generate quantitative measures of toxicity.

Chemistry: DD1 The Drug Discovery Process Wed 15 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

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

Chemistry: DD2 The Drug Discovery Process Fri 17 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

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

Chemistry: DD3 Modern Tactics to Optimise Potency Fri 24 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

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.

Chemistry: DD4 Pharmacokinetics Wed 29 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

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.

Chemistry: DD5 Medicinal Chemistry Game Workshop Tue 4 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

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.

Please note: To take part in this session you will need to have attended DD1-DD4.

Chemistry: DD6 Toxicity and Drug Safety Fri 7 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

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.

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