Major prize wins for St Andrews chemistry research

St Andrews University's Dr Catherine Cazin, Royal Society of Chemistry 'Chemistry of Transition Metals' Award winner for 2016.
St Andrews University's Dr Catherine Cazin, Royal Society of Chemistry 'Chemistry of Transition Metals' Award winner for 2016.
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Two University of St Andrews chemists have won prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry awards.

Professor Ifor Samuel is the winner of the Society’s Chemical Dynamics Award for 2016 and Dr Catherine Cazin is the Chemistry of Transition Metals Award winner for 2016.

Professor Samuel’s research concerns remarkable plastic-like materials that can conduct electricity and emit light. Applications of these materials include displays, lighting, solar cells, and skin cancer treatment.

He said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award because of the recognition it brings to my work to understand fundamental photophysical processes in organic semiconductors. I am looking forward to explaining it to new audiences on the lecture tour.”

Dr Cazin’s research focuses on designing and synthesising ‘molecular tools’ – transition metal complexes that act as a catalyst in the formation of bonds between carbon atoms, and between carbon and nitrogen atoms. In this way complex molecular structures can be built, for the synthesis of drugs and the treatment of diseases.

She commented: “Considering my passion for the area of transition metal chemistry, I feel privileged to be recognised and also very humbled to now appear alongside past awardees, some of whom are true giants.”

Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations. Each receives receives £2000, a medal and a certificate. In the past, 47 winners of the awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.