CHEM 21 in The Medicine Maker

A number of CHEM 21 members have contributed to an article on a more sustainable pharmaceutical industry through collaboration – The Medicine Maker Feb 2015 edition

University of York CHEM21PhD student wins a bronze medal for chemistry at the SET for Britain poster competition in Westminster

Ryan Gorman, a final year chemistry PhD student working on the CHEM21 project in Prof Richard Taylor’s research group at the University of York, was awarded the medal for his research into making drug synthesis affordable and more environmentally-friendly by developing novel copper catalysed procedures. Alongside the medal, Ryan will receive a prize of £1,000.

The SET for Britain awards celebrate young researchers who are working on science that may help medicine in the future.  Gold, silver, and bronze winners were selected from 30 finalists shortlisted from hundreds of entries for the annual competition.  Students presented posters summarising their work in the chemical sciences to MPs and a jury of experts in the field.

Ryan, aged 25 from Leeds, said: “I am overwhelmed. I was honoured just to be selected, never mind winning a prize.  There were so many fantastic posters and there is so much great research.

“Entering the competition, I learnt a lot about presenting to people from different backgrounds. It’s a good challenge to try to explain your chemistry to people who aren’t in the field.  You can get so stuck in your ways when you’re just talking to other chemists so it’s great to talk about the bigger picture.”

Professor Helen Fielding, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “As a member of the chemistry judging panel, it has been inspirational to see so many excellent posters from the finalists.  Chemistry is crucial to society, playing an important role in energy, health, food, and tackling climate change.

“Inspiring young people into science is also crucial for the UK’s economic growth and job creation. We hope that many more talented scientists – like these finalists – have the opportunity to contribute to society.  I’m thrilled to see such excellent and inspiring science going to Parliament.”Ryan Gorman SET prize winner

Ryan was interviewed by BBC radio York on the ‘Teatime with Elly Fiorentini’ show on Wednesday 11th March at 16:40 which can be found at




The 32nd Process Development Symposium


The 32nd Process Development Symposium will take place from Wednesday 25 March – Friday 27 March 2015.These meetings bring together experts from across the entire spectrum of the discipline to present state of the art process development.


CHEM 21 collaborates with BIOINTENSE

On February 3rd and 4th, representatives of CHEM 21 Work Packages 3 & 5 were invited to attend the 18 month review meeting of BIOINTENSE ( ) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).BIOINTENSE is an FP7  single stage knowledge based bio economy (KBBE) collaborative project which started on the 1st of August 2012.The main objectives in BIOINTENSE are to increase biocatalyst productivity and process intensity.The consortium is led by Professor John Woodley from the PROCESS group at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the DTU. Of  key interest to CHEM 21 are the BIOINTENSE work packages looking at the process intensification of biocatalytic reactions and novel sensor technology being developed to measure pH and Oxygen content at multiple points in micro-channel flow reactors, which of course could be applicable to activities across WP 2 and WP 3. From CHEM 21, BIOINTENSE researchers were keen to learn about our approach to the use of solvent selection guides and solvent selection, greener solvents , especially for use in combination with enzyme catalysed processes.

It is anticipated that CHEM 21 and BIOINTENSE will keep in close contact moving forward.

1st Winter Process Chemistry Conference in Leeds, 16-18 December 2013

Several members of Chem21 recently attended the 1st Winter Process Chemistry Conference held at the University of Leeds. The conference had excellent attendance and a range of interesting talks spanning synthetic chemistry, process design and scale-up to Design of Experiment and modelling. The invited speakers also included some Chem21 members including Prof. Matthias Beller from the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Prof. Bert Maes from the University of Antwerp, Dr Kai Rossen from Sanofi and Prof. John Blacker from University of Leeds. Several members of the Chem21 Young Researchers Network also presented posters at the conference, with Ryan Gorman, a Chem21 PhD student with Richard Taylor at the University of York, winning the poster competition – Congratulations Ryan.

conference attendeesBert Maes TalkexhibitionRyan + poster

CHEM 21 contributes to the International Workshop on Green Initiatives in Energy, Environment & Health


CHEM 21 representatives from work packages 1 and 5 attended the International Workshop in Delhi Dec 2-3 2013. The gathering was a busy and vibrant meeting, with ~200 delegates from academia and industry, including  leaders representing green chemistry centres from the UK, Canada, USA, Brazil, Korea, Mexico and of course a very strong turn out from the local host country, India. The workshop was centred around a diverse range of presentations and posters on bio renewables and biofuels, novel catalysts, medicinal chemistry, greener processing and renewable energy. The meeting included presentations from Indian state ministers.

There was a great deal of interest in the CHEM 21 presentation and posters, with  CHEM 21 PhD student, Giulia, from York University, winning a poster prize for her research on bio-based  solvents for enzyme catalysed reactions. A key take home message from the workshop sessions was that there a lot of enthusiasm for closer links and cooperation between the existing green chemistry centres and that they should combine forces to share knowledge and best practice to maximise impact and to help embryonic and emerging green chemistry centres throughout the world. The key workshop outputs were that existing leaders of green chemistry centres were tasked with setting up a joint website as a vehicle to start the closer collaboration and knowledge sharing, and challenged to investigate mechanisms and funding streams to help foster closer collaboration and build on the momentum established at the Delhi workshop.

20131202_125847 20131202_130145 20131202_130203 20131203_131258 DSC_6999

1st CHEM21 Young Researchers Network meeting


The first CHEM21 Young Researchers Network Meeting was held at Kings Manor in York on 13th November 2013.  The aim of the meeting was to bring together PhD students and Post-Doctoral researchers from across the consortium to increase communication, encourage familiarity across work packages and share scientific insight.

The day consisted of a mixture of networking activities, brainstorming and a series of talks from both academics and industrialists on the theme of ‘Preparing young researchers for 21st century industry’.

Feedback from the day was positive and will inform the content of future events.  The networking activities were particularly popular; “enjoyable, informative, met lots of new people, learned about other projects in Chem21. Would definitely like to attend future meetings”

Team building activity

Team building activity

Networking evening at York Brewery

Networking evening at York Brewery

CHEM21 PhD student videos


To celebrate RSC Chemistry week which has a theme of ‘Health’, researchers at The University of York have released a series of short films about how CHEM21 PhD students are working towards a greener pharmaceutical industry