First ChemSoc lecture

Posted on 10 November 2017

Academic staff in the Department of Chemistry shared their excitement over their own research in the first open lecture, organised by ChemSoc, in which undergraduate students could find out more about research carried out in the department.

Dr Seishi Shimizu presenting Theoretical Bucket Chemistry

Dr Seishi Shimizu and Professor David Smith talked about recent results from their research teams, their shared fascination with interactions between molecules and their impact on real-world processes.

Dr Shimizu presented 'Theoretical Bucket Chemistry' in which he explained how using statistical thermodynamics methods, had given him new insights into the organisation of soft materials.  His research has wide-ranging impacts, from understanding the way in which tofu is structured, to gaining insight into how flavours such as vanillin behave in custard.  He guided students gently through the underlying Mathematics, never losing sight of how it intersected with the real world.

Professor Smith presented 'Super-SAM: Supermolecules for Self-Assembled Medicine', explaining two aspects of his research inspired by his husband’s cystic fibrosis.  In particular, he presented self-assembled chemical vectors that deliver genetic material into cells, with the ultimate goal of developing gene therapy treatments.  He then discussed self-assembling gels in which the programmed chemistry can direct tissue growth, with the long-term goal of growing organs from a patient’s stem cells for transplantation.

Professor Smith said: "This well-attended event was the first ever ChemSoc open lecture and they did a great job of organising it.  York is one of the largest Departments of Chemistry in the UK, carrying out highly impactful research across a broad spectrum of science. Sharing our own research excitement with our undergraduate students was a genuine pleasure."