February 1st, 2022 Webinar Speakers

Our next webinar will take place via the internet on Tuesday February 1st at 10 AM EST/ 3 PM GMT. Sign up on our mailing list to receive the Zoom link!

We hope to see/hear from you all at one of our sessions or as one of the next speakers. If you are an early career scientist and would like to present your research, don't hesitate to submit an abstract today! For now, please learn more about our current speakers and their research below. We also thank the generous support from Cell Reports Physical Science, Merck, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Our featured speakers this week are Dr. Arun Richard Chandrasekaran (Postdoctoral Researcher, University at Albany, State University of NY, USA), and Dr. Jamie Leitch (Postdoctoral Researcher, University College London, England).


DR ARUN RICHARD CHANDRASEKARAN (on Twitter @arunrichardc)

Biography: Arun Richard Chandrasekaran was born and raised in Madurai, India, where he spent most of his days playing cricket (Science came later). His academic path has taken many turns, from a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology to a Master’s in Nanoscience to a PhD in Chemistry. Arun’s research focusses on building nanostructures using DNA, with applications in drug delivery and biosensing. Arun likes to communicate science to the lay audience, and uses pop-culture references in his presentations and research papers to do so. Apart from doing science, Arun likes to sing, is a published poet, and a huge fan of horror movies.

Title of Talk: DNA Nanoswitch Barcodes for Multiplexed Biomarker Profiling

Abstract: Molecular biomarkers play a key role in the clinic, aiding in diagnostics and prognostics, and in the research laboratory, contributing to our basic understanding of diseases. Detecting multiple and diverse molecular biomarkers within a single accessible assay would have great utility, providing a more comprehensive picture for clinical evaluation and research, but is a challenge with standard methods. Here, we report programmable DNA nanoswitches for multiplexed detection of up to 6 biomarkers at once with each combination of biomarkers producing a unique barcode signature among 64 possibilities. As a defining feature of our method, we show “mixed multiplexing” for simultaneous barcoded detection of different types of biomolecules, for example, DNA, RNA, antibody, and protein in a single assay. To demonstrate clinical potential, we show multiplexed detection of a prostate cancer biomarker panel in serum that includes two microRNA sequences and prostate specific antigen.

DR JAMIE LEITCH (on Twitter @JamieLeitch165)

Biography: Jamie Leitch studied Chemistry for Drug Discovery at the University of Bath, including an ERASMUS study year abroad at Université Bordeaux. He then continued at Bath for his PhD under the supervision of Professor Chris Frost on site selective catalytic C-H functionalisation. Following this he took up a position as a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Oxford, working on photocatalytic methods for the synthesis of alpha-functionalised amines and ethers under the supervision of Professor Darren Dixon. Since November 2020, Jamie has been a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Duncan Browne on enabling technologies for synthesis and catalysis.

Title of Talk: Mechanochemistry as an Enabling Technology in Organic Synthesis: A Ball-Milling-Enabled Cross-Electrophile Coupling

Abstract: In recent decades increased efforts have been undertaken into translating mechanochemical techniques which have commonly been used in formulation science and crystal engineering – such as ball-milling – to synthetic organic methodology. Within this context, mechanochemistry has allowed the development to solvent-free or solvent-minimised reaction protocols, often with drastically reduced reaction times, and circumventing the need to carry out reactions under inert atmospheres. These benefits have rendered mechanochemistry as a sustainable alternative to solution-phase comparisons, and recent research efforts in organic synthesis via ball milling will be discussed.

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