I applied to York on the MChem Chemistry with a year abroad course and used the opportunity to spend my fourth year at the University of Sydney, Australia. I had always wanted to go to Australia so this was an excellent opportunity to visit whilst in a secure environment of the university.
I was able to utilise and develop many of the skills I had learnt whilst at York and also learn many new techniques including mass spectrometry, NMR and fluorescence microscopy
I worked under supervision of Dr. Elizabeth New and the New group working to develop fluorescent sensors selective for cellular platinum metabolites.
My project mainly involved organic synthesis to develop novel fluorescent sensors. I enjoyed designing and trialing novel syntheses and then employing various analytical techniques to characterise and check the purity of my products.
I then had to carry out fluorescent experiments on my sensors to check their utility and selectivity to specific platinum complexes.
During my time in the New group I also worked on a novel fluorescent probe developed by a previous masters student and this lead to publication of our paper in the RSC journal, Chemical Communications. This was a huge achievement and gave me insight into the process of publishing a scientific paper.
During the Christmas holidays, summer time in Australia, I spent two and half weeks travelling down the east coast. I was able to go snorkeling and scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, sailing and kayaking.
It was an incredible experience and a great way to spend my vacation.
I was very lucky to work with such a talented group and supervisor who supported me throughout the year and gave me first hand experience of working in research. As a result my interest and passion for chemistry has increased and I am considering returning to Sydney.