February 2020

A massive congrats to Adele Gabba who received the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. From approximately 10,000 candidates who applied last September, Adele got the best score for the Chemistry global panel of 99.4/100 for her project, called LectiNet. She will spend 2 years at MIT in the lab of Professor Laura L. Kiessling , Boston USA, and then one year back with us in NUIG in the Murphy group. 

May 2019

Congrats to Adele Gabba, a PhD student in the School of Chemistry, who was appointed by the president of the ICI , Celine Marmion, to be the postgraduate Ambassador of the Institute of Chemistry. Her role will involve interacting with the Irish postgraduate Chemistry community, promoting the Institute and the Institute’s postgraduate award and gathering feedback on ways in which the Institute can further support Chemistry postgraduate students working in Ireland. Well done Adele.

NUI Galway PhD Student Awarded Institute of Chemistry of Ireland Inaugural Postgraduate Award

Adele Gabba, a PhD student in the School of Chemistry, has been awarded the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland Inaugural Postgraduate Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to research. Originally from Italy, Adele’s research is supported by the Irish Research Council thorugh a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship.  She is currently in the final year of her study. She has been working on synthesis and evaluation of ligands for the macrophage galactose C-type lectin (CLEC10A). CLEC10A is a protein found on the surface of cells of the immune system and recognizes tumour specific antigens, and also has a role in viral infection, such as that caused by the Ebola virus. She has conducted her research mostly at NUI Galway.  Adele has also travelled for periods to ISAS in Germany to the synthetic cancer vaccine laboratory of Ulrika Westerlind, supported by an EMBO travel award, and to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (affiliated with the Harvard Medical School in Boston) to the structural biology laboratory of Gabriel Birrane.  One highlight from her research includes the determination of the first crystal structure of CLEC10A as well as those of the Tn antigen, a tumour associated antigen, bound to CLEC10A.  This finding will be important to researchers who are working on trying to develop vaccines for cancer or anti-viral agents.   The award from the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland also acknowledges Adele’s unwavering commitment to supporting and promoting Chemistry within her University and via her active participation in a wide array of public engagement initiatives. Adele has been very active in Kitchen Chemistry, which contributes to public events, such as the Galway Science and Technology Festival, and she has contributed to other events such as FameLab and Soapbox Science. Professor John Cassidy, President of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland praised the excellence of Adele’s research as well as recognizing the mentorship she provides to younger students.  Professor Celine Marmion, incoming President of the Institute, offered her congratulations to Adele, indicating she is a most worthy recipient of this award and wished her continued success and happiness in her current and future endeavors. Professor Marmion also offered congratulations to her PhD supervisor, Professor Paul Murphy, to the School of Chemistry and to NUI Galway. Dr. Patrick O’Leary, Head of the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, said: “It’s great to see Adele’s work being recognised. She has truly embraced all that a PhD can offer in terms of her own research excellence, exposure to other research areas, training as a science communicator and inspiring the next generation of STEM students. Once she finishes in NUI Galway we look forward to seeing bright career ahead for her.” The Institute of Chemistry is the professional body representing chemists in Ireland. The Mission of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland is to promote Chemistry and to represent the profession of Chemistry in Ireland  On the left is Professor John Cassidy, President of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland, in the middle is Adele and on right is Prof. Paul Murphy.

Congrats to Dr. Yannick Casamayou Boucau who won one of the poster prizes at the BioITG Research Showcase meeting held in  The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin, on April 16th 2019. His poster described work he did for his PhD undertaken in Galway on developing an analytical methods for identifying soluble oligomers of insulin.  This research was funded by the Irish Research Council via a  Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. Yannick is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) working on an industry funded analytical research project.  More details about BioPharmaChem can be found at and the NBL at :


Thursday 14th of March 2019 was a great day for the School of Chemistry. 
Moneer Alsubaie from the Erxleben Group was conferred with a Masters in Chemistry.
Ameliè Roux and Karen Fox from the Murphy group and Conan Mercer from the Leech group were conferred with their PhD.
Congrats to you all.

The annual Eli Lilly postgraduate prize talks took place on the 21st February with three prizes awarded to postgraduate students from the School of Chemistry for presentations of their research. Adele Gabba took the top prize, with Marina Steiner-Browne and Jimi Alex winning second and third prize. The judges, Colm O’ Mahony and Shane O’ Sullivan, from Eli Lilly, were impressed with the high standard of presentation and praised the students for their outstanding performances. Eli Lilly also sponsored awards for postgraduate teaching. Abdulmoez Elkhbuli was awarded best demonstrator of 1st year labs and Adele Gabba picked up another prize for her demonstrating in the 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate labs.


Another award winning Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) PhD student.

Congratulations to Ms. Ana Luiza de Faria e Silva (3rd from left) who won second prize in the annual IFPAC (International Forum on Process Analysis and Control) meeting being held in North Bethesda, Maryland, USA  (March 3-6, 2019).  Ana was presenting her research work on the use of polarized fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy for the analysis of PEGylated proteins. Ana, who is from Brazil, a third year PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Alan G. Ryder.

This research was supported in part by a research grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund under Grand number (14/IA/2282, Advanced Analytics for Biological Therapeutic Manufacture, to AGR).


Congratulations to all our winners of the Chemistry prizes at Lá na Gradam recently. Well done everyone.

Congratulations to Prof. Henry Curran from the School of Chemistry who today (28th Nov 2018) has been named by Clarivate ( as one of the top 1% highly cited researchers world-wide.  Henry has been in the top 1% cited researchers worldwide annually since 2014 reflecting the high quality output of the combustion center.

Massive congratulations to Dr. Patrick O’Leary who will receive a President's Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2017/18 at today’s conferring ceremony. Well deserved!

Details of these awardees are at



Dr. Mirallai Styliana recently attended an international conference in Florence ( 22nd IUPAC International Conference on Organic Synthesis (22-ICOS), Florence, Italy) and had the pleasure of giving an oral presentation on the "Synthesis of N-Acryloyl Aminals as useful building blocks for Smart poylmers" For more details check out a recent publication:!divAbstract

Dr. Pau Farras has been selected to contribute to the Chemical Communications Emerging Investigators Issue 2018 for his work on renewable energies. For more information on the publication, click on “Production of solar chemicals”.    Link the title to:

Ioannis Mylonas-Margaritis, a first year PhD student in Dr. Papatriantafyllopoulou group, delivering a talk in the International Conference on Paramagnetic Materials, NAGC, in Sparta, Greece. Giannis talked about his research on the development of coordination polymers with interesting magnetic properties. For more details, check our recent publication



PhD student Nagmeh Kamali giving an oral presentation at the International Conference (BACGUL18) recently. She also won the best image in the  image competition with the conference logo, congrats Nagmeh.

Feb. 2018:  Congratulations to Marina Steiner-Browne, a second year PhD student who won the best poster prize at the BioPharma Ambition conference in Dublin castle.  Her poster was entitled:Assessing Freeze-Thaw (FT) Effects in IgG using Anisotropy Resolved Multi-Dimensional Emission Spectroscopy (ARMES).  Marina Steiner-Browne*, Saioa Elcoroaristizabal, Yannick Casamayou-Boucau, and Alan G. Ryder. This research was supported  by a research grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund under Grand number (14/IA/2282,Advanced Analytics for Biological Therapeutic Manufacture, to AGR).   

A recent Publication by the Ronconi group.

Dr. Ultan Burke recently presented this poster at the ‘Bunsentagung 2018 – Kinetics in the real world’ conference in Hannover, Germany.

Dr. Burke also  presented this poster as part of the 'MaREI annual symposium 2018 - Creating collaboration opportunities' in the bioenergy section in Cork.


NUI Galway Opens New Hub for Sustainable Energy and Fuel Efficiency



Paul Guillen's poster presentation in Paris at the symposium of Applied Natural Products in June 2018, well done Paul

Congratulations to Meghan Winterlich for winning the prize for the best oral presentation in the 70th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium last week. Well done!


Adele Gabba recently received a Fellowship from EMBO, (European Molecular Biology Organisation) for a research project called: Unimolecular multicomponent vaccines: development of MUC1/MUC4 epitope synthetic  antitumor conjugated with GalNAc-MGL for immune stimulant and for vaccine targeting". This allowed her to spend a research period at ISAS, Dortmund, Germany in the group of  Dr. Ulrika Westerlind.


**************The position below has been filled******************



Congratulations to Richard Bennett who won the best speaker award at the Conference of Analytical Sciences in Ireland (CASi) 2018 held in Maynooth University 16th-17th May 2018. His presentation was titled “Enzymatic Biopower: Design of Experiment Approach for Optimisation of Enzymatic Electrodes”. Richard is a student in the biomolecular electronics research lab under the supervision of Professor Dónal Leech and is funded by the Irish research council. Prof. Leech accepted the award on Richard's behalf.


17th International Conference on Heterocycles in Bioorganic Chemistry

NUI Galway hosted the 17th International Conference on Heterocycles in Bioorganic Chemistry 28-31 May 2017, which was attended by about 100 delegates.

There were six plenary lectures, six invited lectures as well as a host of oral communications and poster sessions.

Conference highlights included the Royal Society of Chemistry Pedler Award Lecture given by Prof Helma Wennemers (ETH Zurich) and the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry Lecture by Prof Henk Hiemstra (University of Amsterdam).

The conference ended with a lecture from Prof Till Opatz (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz) and with an awards ceremony.

NUI Galway picked up all of the student awards, which included best oral communication prize to Martin Sweeney and best student poster awards to Karen Fox and Gerard Hawkins.

Best overall poster prize went to Prof Shinya Fujii (University of Tokyo).

The chair of the scientific committee, Prof Jan Bergman (Karolinska Institute) announced the election of the conference chair, Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh to the scientific committee of Bioheterocycles.

Dr Aldabbagh thanks all those who helped organise the thoroughly enjoyable conference including Dr Styliana Mirallai, Dr Niall Geraghty, Prof Liam Spillane, Dr Dennis Smith, Dr Eoin Scanlan and Prof Paul Murphy.

NUI Galway Research on Converting Biomass to High Value Molecules For Drug Discovery

cover synthesis

Researchers from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway have produced research that has been published this week in the international journal Synthesis, and has been featured on the journal’s front cover. The research involved the development of a strategy to convert biomass to high value molecules for investigation in new drug discovery projects such as Type-2 Diabetes, Gaucher’s disease and Fabry disease.

Synthesis is devoted to the advancement of the science of synthetic chemistry and papers featured in the journal are noted as being ‘original papers of exceptional high quality and significance to the scientific community’.

Professor Paul Murphy, Head of the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, and a PhD researcher from the School, Rekha Chadda from Co. Sligo, worked together to develop a new strategy to convert mannose, a naturally occurring sugar manufactured from wood-based or other biomass, into higher value chemicals, called glycomimetics, that can be useful in drug discovery. Professor Patrick McArdle from the School of Chemistry, performed X-ray crystal structure analysis, which helped them confirm the molecular structure of substances produced in the research.

Some glycomimetics are in clinical use and are used for the treatment of patients with Type-2 Diabetes, Gaucher’s disease (a genetic disorder) and Fabry disease (an inherited disorder that results from the build-up of a particular type of fat). A glycomimetic (UV4) is currently in clinical trials with a view to the therapy of infection caused by the Dengue virus and there is potential in treatment of other infections.   

Professor Paul Murphy at NUI Galway, said: “The research demonstrates the value of Synthetic Chemistry. We used a renewable molecule, the sugar mannose, from biomass as a basis for generating higher value molecules that have potential in drug discovery projects. In future we would like to expand the application of the strategy to make other important molecules for drug discovery projects as well as see if the approach can have application in synthesis of pharmaceuticals.”   

The team used a new strategy, not investigated previously, to produce the glycomimetics. These new agents are now available for evaluation of their potential in drug discovery and this will be shortly investigated. Synthesis is a practice used by chemists to discover and manufacture drugs in everyday clinical use. It is also used to produce materials, such as plastics, which find everyday applications in people’s lives. In this research, Rekha Chadda took a substance prepared from mannose and subjected the substance to two old chemical reactions combined in a novel way. The reactions are known as allylic azide rearrangement and Huisgen cycloaddition, and were originally developed more than 50 years ago by US and German scientists.

This research study was funded by NUI Galway (PhD scholarship to Rekha Chadda), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the European Regional Development Fund.



Gold Medal for NUI Galway Chemistry ExpertThursday, 4 May, 2017:

HC medal

NUI Galway’s Professor Henry Curran, a world expert in chemistry combustion, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Boyle Higgins Gold Medal Award. Professor Curran’s research expertise informs the design of cleaner, more efficient energy systems.

The Boyle Higgins Gold Medal Award is awarded by The Institute of Chemistry of Ireland. It is awarded for a significant contribution to chemistry made by an Irish chemist working in Ireland or abroad, or by a chemist of any nationality, working in Ireland.

Professor Curran is Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galway’s School of Chemistry and of the Energy Research Centre in the University’s Ryan Institute, commented: “My research interest is in the study of the chemistry of how fuels burn in combustors, in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. It is truly an honour to be recognised by my peers in this way. Ireland has such a strong cohort of experts working in the field of chemistry, that to be chosen for this accolade is truly gratifying.”

The Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galwayis engaged in fundamental research on the combustion of fossil and biofuels. Professor Curran and his team are concerned with the application  of  combustion  research  to  the  design  of  energy efficient  engine and  gas  turbine combustion systems, and the impact of their use on toxic and greenhouse gas emissions, towards helping address the problems of urban air pollution and climate change.

On receipt of his award, Professor Curran delivered a lecture to the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland entitled ‘Developing Detailed Chemical Kinetic Mechanisms for Fuel Combustion’.

Much of Professor Curran’s work is on internationally-collaborative projects with companies including Shell Global Solutions, Rolls Royce Canada Ltd., Siemens Canada Ltd., Renault and Saudi Arabian Oil Company.Professor Curran is also involved in the EU-funded project, ECCO-MATE, which aims to create a research and training platform for the improvement of diesel engines.

Professor Paul Murphy, Head of the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, said: “The School of Chemistry offers their most enthusiastic congratulations to Professor Curran on the award of the Boyle-Higgins Medal from the Institute of Chemistry, which recognises his contributions to both Pure and Applied Chemistry, given the strong relevance of his research for Industry. Professor Curran has provided pioneering expertise in his area and is fully deserving of this recognition by the professional body for Chemistry in Ireland.”

Professor Henry Curran is ranked among the world’s top 1% of scientific minds by Clarivate Analytics, formerly the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters. He has been among the most highly cited researchers since the ranking started in 2014.

 For more information contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Acting Press & Information Executive, NUI Galway on or 091 495695.

 Photo HJC_gold_medal: Professor Henry Curran, Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galway’s School of Chemistry, receives the prestigious 2017 Boyle Higgins Gold Medal Award. Photo: NUI Galway


Congratulations to Martin Sweeney and Kasia Gniado on jointly winning the BOC Gases Postgraduate award this week.


Congrats to cousins Ciara and Michelle Kyne who graduated on the 23rd of March 2017 with a PhD in Chemistry


School of Chemistry, Kitchen Chemistry at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Dublin January 2017


School of Chemistry students win prestigious awards


Five Chemistry students were recognised recently for their Awards and Achievements recently by the University President, Registrar and Vice President for Students at a function organised recently in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway.

Vincent Naughton (second from the left) was highly commended by the Undergraduate Awards in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences for his BSc project work in the School of Chemistry.

David Dineen (third from the left) who studied Chemistry in the 2015/16 academic year and is now a final year Pharmacology student, was awarded an Amgen Scholarship and he carried out research work at the Institute Pasteur in Paris.

Conan Mercer (second from the right) currently a PhD Researcher in the School of Chemistry, won best poster prize at the 16th International Conferecne on Electroanalysis in Bath, UK.

Kiefer Ramberg (extreme right) a Biopharmaceutical Chemistry graduate, and currently a PhD student in the School of Chemistry, received a National University of Ireland Travelling Scholarship.

Congratulations to Vincent, David, Conan and Kiefer on their achievements.

Fullbright awards 2016-2017

 Full Bright award 2016

Ms. Sylvia Soldatou has been awarded a Fullbright award for 2016-2017. Ms  Soldatou is currently a PhD candidate here in the School of Chemistry at  NUI Galway. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, Sylvia will focus on a chemical ecology project comparing the chemistry produced by Irish algal and mollusk samples. She will conduct her research at the University of South Florida.

Paralympic qualifier Dr. Patrick O'Leary

Pat O'leary

Our very own Dr. Patrick O'Leary has qualified for the Paralympics in Rio this year. Dr. O'Leary a native Cork man living in Moycullen secured his para-canoe place in May. The very best of luck Pat. 


January 2015: RIA Charlemont Grant 2015

Dr Anuradha Pallipurath, a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemistry, supervised by Dr Andrea Erxleben, is one of the recipients of this year’s Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grants.

Dr Pallipurath won an award of €2,300 to pursue a month long collaborative research with the University of Cambridge titled, “Terahertz spectroscopic analysis of crystallisation kinetics of amorphous composite materials – experimental and computational studies”. With this study she hopes to have a holistic understanding of the phase transformation between the crystalline polymorphs and amorphous systems of model drugs, experimentally and through Abinitio lattice dynamics calculations. This understanding is of prime importance to improve the stability and processability of drugs and is indirectly important for the economics of the pharmaceutical industry.

2nd October 2014: School of Chemistry Tag Rugby Team Victorious!

Congratulations to the School of Chemistry tag rugby team who recently competed in the 2014 ITRA Galway Autumn League.  The team came out 16-15 winners in a thrilling and closely contested Division 1 final.

Well done guys! 

Team members included: Noel Byrne, Hannah Smith, Paul Kavanagh, Michelle Kyne, Anthony McDonagh, Chris Magee, Nora Crushell, Pawel Antonik, Edel Houton, Shane O'Sullivan, Karen Fox, Aine Fox, Jessie Nulty, Tony McHale, Sarah Dillon, Conor Dennehy and Yannick Casamayou.

 Chemistry news pic 1

18th September 2014: Irish Undergraduate Awards

Congratulations to Leah Kearney, 4th year undergraduate Chemistry student from 2013/4 academic year, on being highly commended by the Irish Undergraduate Awards in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science category.  This was for her 4th year essay carried out under the direction of Dr. Alan Ryder.  Those highly commended represent the top 10% of submissions (out of 4,792 submitted around the world) selected by reviewers.  The UA global Summit (link), which will bring together Winners and Highly Commended entrants from all over the world to Dublin, Ireland is being held on November 19-21, 2014.  The winners will be announced later this month so we wish Leah the best of luck.

For more details:

2nd July 2014:  Professor Henry Curran ranked as among top 1% researchers in the world

Details can be got here:


3rd April 2014: School of Chemistry BOC Postgraduate Award

The award is supported by BOC Gases and recognises research achievements, in terms of published work and impact as well as outreach, and contributions to the School and University, of PhD candidates in the School.

The joint-winners were 
Peter O Conghaile who gave a presentation entitled 'Tailoring surfaces and supports for enzyme electrodes with application to biopower device development' 
Mark Farrell who gave a presentation entitled 'The anomerisation of glycosidic linkages'

Pictured below are: Eamonn Glynn (BOC), Mark Farrell, Shane Gough (BOC) and Peter O Conghaile.