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Oskar Ford
Wadham College
Oskar is the recipient of the Derek-Calam SBM CDT Graduate Scholarship 2023. Originally from north-west London, Oskar completed his MChem at Wadham College in 2023, completing his masters project under the supervision of Prof. Darren Dixon, investigating the application of catalytic, enantioselective 1,3-prototropic shifts in total synthesis. Prior to this, he spent a summer working in analytical chemistry and biosciences for Procter & Gamble, developing analytical and data-processing techniques to study novel lotions. In the lab, Oskar’s interests lie in the total synthesis of natural products with potent biological properties and the development of new synthetic methodologies. Outside of the lab, Oskar is a keen hockey player and also enjoys playing squash, cycling, and cooking.
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Matthew Fry
Wadham College
Originally from Rawtenstall, a small town outside of Manchester, Matt recently graduated with a First-Class Honours MChem degree in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews. As part of his degree, Matt undertook a 12-month industrial placement at Roche in Basel focusing on lead optimisation. Matt also completed the ‘Laidlaw Scholarship in Research and Leadership’, including a studentship in the Zysman-Colman group working towards the synthesis of deep blue emitting thermally activated delayed fluorescent molecules, and a ‘Leadership in Action’ project developing an online learning platform for young chemists. In his final year, Matt worked under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca Goss investigating the enzymatic functionalisation of aromatic substrates and their subsequent chemical diversification. Matt's current research interests include the synthesis of structurally complex molecules and their applications in biological systems. Outside the lab Matt enjoys learning new languages, playing basketball, and going to the gym.
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Nandini Guzman
Keble College
Originally from Reading, Nandini completed her MChem degree at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. During her Part II year, she worked in Prof. Darren Dixon’s group, investigating the total synthesis of polycyclic natural products. Prior to this, she undertook a summer internship in the Dixon group, working on a novel methodology for the construction of complex saturated heterocycles. Nandini is particularly interested in the applications of asymmetric catalysis to the synthesis of medicinally-relevant molecules. Outside of the lab, she enjoys baking and spending time with friends.
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Maddison Lovell
University College
Maddison is the recipient of the Oxford-Radcliffe SBM CDT Scholarship 2023. She grew up in Berkshire, and now lives in Bath, Somerset. She completed her MChem degree in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. This included an external placement at GSK, Stevenage, working as a synthetic organic chemist in the chemical modalities department. Maddison was supervised by Prof. Allan Watson for her final year project, working on the development of asymmetric photocatalytic cross-coupling using styrene boronic acids, for which she was awarded the GSK prize for the best honours research project in organic chemistry. After this, Maddison stayed in the Watson group for a summer placement, working on Chan-Lam couplings of benzoxaboroles. Maddison is keen to continue undergoing research into novel reaction methodologies, specifically those which are photocatalytic. Aside from chemistry, Maddison enjoys going to the gym, baking, and spending time with friends.
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Stanley Oppong
Hertford College
Stanley is the recipient of an MPLS Academic Futures scholarship. Before joining the SBM CDT, he received the 2019 Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship from Liberia to study Advanced Pharmaco-Science under the direct supervision of Prof. Shuji Akai at Osaka University, Japan. He conducted his MPharm project in the field of chemo-biocatalysis, focusing on lipase-oxovanadium co-catalyzed dynamic kinetic resolution of dual stereogenic secondary allylic alcohols. Stanley is interested in the design and application of synthetic methodologies in response to the growing demand for structurally diverse bioactive molecules. Outside of the laboratory, he enjoys reading and writing short stories and poems; in 2021, he self-published “Selenium”, a collection of poems, on Amazon.
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Mikołaj Poplawski
Merton College
Originally from Przemyśl, Poland, Mikołaj completed several short research internships in Warsaw during his high school years, and brought home a bronze medal from the International Chemistry Olympiad. Subsequently, Mikołaj read for his MSci in Natural Sciences at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, specialising in Chemistry. During his degree, Mikołaj completed internships in prebiotic chemistry in the Sutherland and Krishnamurthy groups at the MRC LMB (Cambridge), and Scripps Research (San Diego), respectively. In his fourth year, he performed his Part III project with Prof. Melinda Duer, investigating the mechanism of action of two natural product extracellular matrix cross-linkers. While maintaining a broad interest in organic chemistry, Mikołaj has a soft spot for mechanistically guided development of new reactivities. Outside of the lab, he enjoys learning about mediaeval music, cooking, and the sports of swimming and blind wine tasting.
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Lukas Supragonas
Merton College
Originally from Kaunas, Lithuania, Lukas completed his MSci Natural Sciences degree at University College London with First Class Honours, specialising in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences. Supervised by Prof David Selwood and Dr Valeria Pingitore, his Master's project focused on the synthesis of proteolysis-targeting chimaeras (PROTACs) for the treatment of the Epstein-Barr Virus. During his studies, Lukas also briefly worked on Quantum Dot display technology at Huawei R&D, and synthesized deuterated HSET inhibitor analogues at The Institute of Cancer Research. Lukas' main academic interests include Medicinal Chemistry, total synthesis of natural products, and novel synthetic methodology, with a particular focus on organocatalysis and transition metal catalysis. In his free time, Lukas enjoys reading books, gaming, jogging, swimming, and spending time in nature.
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Valentin Veselinov
Lincoln College
Valentin is the recipient of the Oxford-RE Jones Scholarship 2023. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, Valentin completed his MChem degree at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. He joined Prof. Ed Anderson's group for a summer internship and for his Part II year where he researched novel bioisosteres and their functionalisation. His research interests lie in novel methodologies and their use in medicinal chemistry. Outside the lab Valentin enjoys swimming, running, and cooking new vegan recipes (with various degrees of success).
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George White
Keble College
George grew up in Walsall, a town on the outskirts of Birmingham. He completed his MChem degree in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, during which he received the Principal’s Scholarship award for continued academic excellence. In his penultimate year, George undertook a summer research project at St Andrews in the group of Dr Andreas Stasch, focussing on the synthesis and reactivity of low-oxidation state NHC-stabilised boron complexes. His final year research project was carried out under Prof. Andrew Smith, working on the development of isothiourea-catalysed [2+2]-cycloaddition reactions with ammonium enolates and N-protected isatins. George’s research interests very much lie at the centre of methodology development, with a particular focus on methods that employ the use of organocatalysts. Outside of the lab, George is involved in web development and graphics design with a few small businesses, and enjoys travelling, golfing, listening to music and catching up with friends in his spare time.
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Department of Chemistry
Chemistry Research Laboratory
12 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TA
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