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2 ERC starting grants

1 October 2020

Congratulations to Alastair Lennox and Bryan Bzdek who have both won ERC starting grants!

These are highly competitive, prestigious 5-year grants awarded to early career principal investigators in recognition of their ‘excellent science and potentially ground-breaking research’.

There were 4 ERC starting grants awarded to the University this year, and only 6 in chemistry across the whole of the UK, and so for 2 of these to come to the SoC is a fantastic achievement.

Alastair’s project (Selective Electrochemical Nucleophilic Fluorination, €1.6m) will explore novel approaches to installing fluoride into challenging positions of complex organic molecules using electrochemistry and catalysis, which can be applied to radio-fluorination and medicinal chemistry. Known bioactive compounds will be ‘selectively-scatter-bombed’ with fluoride as a novel strategy for discovering enhanced bio-activity and ultimately new drug molecules.

Bryan Bzdek’s project (Comprehensive Investigations of Aerosol Droplet Surfaces and Their Climate Impacts, €2.3m), will develop new experimental approaches to directly interrogate the surfaces of microscopic aerosol droplets. Because of their small size and high surface area-to-volume ratios, the surfaces of aerosols hold considerable importance but are rarely directly studied, as few aerosol measurement approaches are surface selective. The results of this project will improve our understanding of atmospheric aerosols and their climate effects. 

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