2020 COHORT

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Diana Berheci
Magdalen College
Diana is the recipient of a Magdalen College Graduate Scholarship. Originally from a small Romanian town, Diana completed her MSci in Chemistry at Imperial College London. Her final year project, under the supervision of Professor Chris Braddock, explored some novel Ru-catalysed olefin metathesis processes. Previously, Diana was part of a student team led by Professor Tony Cass, working towards a biosensor for vancomycin and representing Imperial College internationally at the SensUs 2018 competition. In the summer of 2019, she joined Professor Don Craig's group to investigate a route towards the synthesis of morphine. Diana is very interested in organic synthesis and methodology, and hopes her DPhil will allow her to further this passion. In her spare time, Diana enjoys hanging out with her friends, travelling, ice-skating, karaoke, and most importantly...good coffee!
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Jessica Crompton
University College
Jessica is the recipient of an EPSRC Excellence Award. Originally from County Durham, Jessica completed her MChem at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Her Master’s project, under the supervision of Prof. Angela Russell, involved the mechanistic study and one-pot synthesis of small molecules containing a novel fragment in medicinal chemistry. During her degree, Jessica designed and delivered an outreach project centred on the chemistry involved in baking. Her academic interests include the development of new synthetic methodologies, particularly using homogeneous catalysis, and their applications in synthesising biologically relevant compounds. Outside of the lab, Jessica enjoys horse-riding, baking and singing.
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Timothy Davidson
Wadham College
Originally from south-west London, Tim graduated from the University of Cambridge with First Class BA and MSci degrees in Natural Sciences, specialising in chemistry. During his master's year, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Manuel Nappi and Prof. Matthew Gaunt, developing a novel photochemical method for activating alcohols using the chemistry of charge-transfer systems. Tim's research interests centre on the discovery of new synthetic methods and their application to the construction of medicinally-relevant compounds. Outside of the lab, Tim is a keen musician, performing as a saxophonist in a variety of jazz and function band settings.
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Joshua Field
Keble College
Originally from Norfolk, Josh completed his four-year Natural Sciences course at the University of Cambridge. During his Master’s project he worked in Prof. David Spring’s group to optimise the novel hydroxylation of a promising anti-cancer drug, then investigated the mechanism. He has a broad interest in organic synthesis, particularly the field of physical organic chemistry, and its application to a whole array of different real-world problems including organic materials and medicinal chemistry. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with friends.
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Thomas Marsh
Pembroke College
Tom is the recipient of a CASE Conversion Award with AstraZeneca. Originally from Brighton, he completed his MChem degree at Durham University. In the summer of his 3rd year, he was awarded a RISE Germany research scholarship at the University of Düsseldorf, working under the supervision of Prof Thomas Kurz on the development and synthesis of novel class IIa histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. He completed his MChem project under the supervision of Prof Graham Sandford and in collaboration with GSK, working on the synthesis of pharmaceutically important organic building blocks derived from the readily available refrigerant gas HFO-1234yf. His research interests are centred on the development of novel synthetic methodologies and their application to natural product total syntheses. Outside of the lab, Tom enjoys staying active, playing football, reading, and meeting up with friends.
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Calum Patel
Merton College
Calum is from Dudley, West Midlands and recently completed his Master’s degree in Chemistry at Imperial College London. After a summer research placement under the supervision of Prof. Jennifer Love at the University of British Columbia, Calum undertook a twelve-month internship at F. Hoffmann La Roche in Basel, Switzerland working on a small-molecule enzyme inhibitor for an early-stage oncology project. Calum completed his Master's dissertation on the biomimetic total syntheses of amorfrutin natural products and analogues under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Barrett. Having experienced the synthetic challenges of late-stage fluorination in drug discovery at Roche, Calum has a keen interest in the development of novel fluorination methods for the design of biologically active compounds. Outside the lab you can find Calum at the gym, cooking, reading about anthropology or travelling (preferably to somewhere where he can hike!).
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Katherine Rolph
Keble College
Born in Belgium, Katherine moved to the UK to attend high school in Guildford. She graduated with a First Class Honours MSci degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College). For her Master’s project, she worked in Prof. Matthew Gaunt’s group on the optimization of a transition metal and photocatalysed arylchlorination reaction of terminal olefins. She also completed a summer internship at Pfizer focusing on the development of novel therapeutics for long-term pain management. When not in the lab. Katherine enjoys musical theatre, travelling and taking her dog on long walks through the local countryside.
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Junfu Tian
Hertford College
Junfu is the recipient of an A*STAR National Science Scholarship (PhD) from Singapore, where he is originally from. Junfu obtained his BA in Natural Sciences at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge in 2019, where he had undergone a research attachment under Prof. Erwin Reisner and Dr. Shafeer Kalathil on investigating bacteria-nanoparticle composite for solar fuel production. He then spent a year working on synthesis of dioxetane-based probe at A*STAR. Junfu's academic interests lie mainly in the design and synthesis of probes for imaging to better understand biological systems. Outside of chemistry, Junfu enjoys reading, playing sports and computer games.
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Stephen Webster
University College
Steve is the recipient of the Oxford-Radcliffe SBM CDT Scholarship 2020. Originally from Peterborough, he completed a four year MChem with first class honours from the University of Bath. During his third year, Steve conducted a Medicinal Chemistry placement at AstraZeneca, working on novel cancer therapies. He returned to Bath to undertake his MChem project under the supervision of Dr. Simon Lewis, investigating the effects of pentafluorosulfanyl groups on the properties of azulene. After graduating, Steve spent two years working at Charles River Laboratories as a Medicinal Chemist, focusing on the synthesis and development of novel Huntingdon’s disease candidates. He has a broad interest in organic synthesis, especially in the total synthesis of natural products and the discovery of novel methodologies. Outside the lab, Steve enjoys going to church, drinking beer and hanging out with friends.
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Benedict Williams
Oriel College
Ben is the recipient of the Alec Bond Graduate Scholarship in Chemistry 2020. Originally from London, England, Ben has since lived in the Cayman Islands and Great Malvern. He graduated with a First Class MChem degree at University College, University of Oxford in 2020, completing his Part II project under the supervision of Prof Michael Willis developing new methods to generate sulfinamide radicals using photoredox catalysis. Last summer, Ben undertook a summer research placement working under Prof Ed Anderson working towards the total synthesis of Alcyopterson P and Miltiorin D. Ben’s research interests include total synthesis and the development of new methodologies. Outside of chemistry Ben’s interests include rowing, playing rugby, watching Formula 1, cooking and going down to the pub with friends to have a pint.
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Department of Chemistry
Chemistry Research Laboratory
12 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TA
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