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Friday 6th March 2020


09:30 - 19:00


Senate Chamber, Trent Building, University Park




This conference is now fully booked. To be added to the waiting list, please email 

with the subject line 'Waiting List'.


Is this for you?

Women in Chemistry 2020 will bring together inspiring female leaders from varying research areas in both academia and industry, to celebrate International Women's Day. We invite people from all genders and backgrounds to join us for this event!

The conference will host a stimulating and innovative forum to highlight issues of equality and diversity in chemsitry careers, and provide career advice to attendees of all genders. The day will consist of 6 talks from a diverse range of speakers: 4 from academia, 1 from industry and 1 working in science communication. The talks will be a combination of thier scientific research, as well as the stories behind their personal career paths.

There will be a poster session during lunch, giving attendees the oportunity to showcase their own work, network with experts in their fields, and potentially win prizes. After the talks there will be a 30 minute panel session, for which attendees are invited to anonymously submit questions for the speakers throughout the day. The event will conclude with an informal networking reception.

Conference Programme

09:30 – 10:20 Registration

10:15 – 10:30  Welcome Remarks 

10:30 – 11:50 Session 1

11:50 – 12:50  Lunch and Poster Session

12:50 – 14:10 Session 2 

14:10 – 14:40  Tea and Coffee

14:40 – 16:00  Session 3

16:00 – 17:00  Panel Session

17:00 - 17:30  Closing Remarks

17:30 – 19:00  Networking and Wine Reception

Conference essentials

Location map

There will be poster prizes! If you wish to present please submit an abstract using our template to Charlotte Roy by 6th February 2020. Template


Contact Charlotte Roy


Thanks to all our sponsors

RSC UCB Lubrizol



Professor Serena Corr




Serena obtained her BA (2002) and PhD (2007) in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin. She completed her PhD work on New Magnetic Nanostructured Materials with Professor Yurii Gun’ko, where she developed new magnetic materials for biomedical applications. In October 2018, she joined the University of Sheffield as Professor and Chair in Functional Nanomaterials. Her research focuses on the design, synthesis and characterization of functional nanomaterials in particular for applications in energy storage, with an emphasis on understanding their intimate structure-property interplay.

Serena was appointed to the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Committee in 2017, a post she will hold for three years. She has published over 50 refereed publications, including five invited book chapters. In 2017, she was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Materials Chemistry Lectureship. She is committed to ECR mentoring, promotion of women in science and public outreach activities (>60 invited/plenary talks with upcoming Royal Institution public lecture on batteries).   



Professor Elena Besley

 Elena Besley


Elena Besley obtained her PhD in Physics and Mathematics (2000) from St.Petersburg State University, Russia. In 2000 she held a Royal Society/NATO postdoctoral research fellowship at the Queen's University of Belfast. There followed postdoctoral research appointments in Chemistry at the Universities of Nottingham, Sussex and Cambridge. In 2007 Elena was awarded a Royal Society UK Relocation Fellowship and moved back to Nottingham. She was appointed to a Lecturer in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at Nottingham in 2011, followed by promotion to Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry in 2015. Prof. E. Besley is a co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Hydrogen (2019 - 2027).

Her current research investigates the development of theoretical and computational methods to prediction of materials properties; computational modelling of the behaviour, properties and manipulation of nanomaterials; electrostatic interactions and self-assembly; gas storage and interactions in porous solids.



Dr Jenny Zhang

Jenny Zhang


Jenny completed her PhD in bioinorganic chemistry at the University of Sydney, Australia, with a brief stint at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she developed redox active platinum-based anti-cancer agents and studied their biodistribtion/metabolism within tumour models. She then became a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working with Prof Erwin Reisner to explore how biocatalysts can be exploited to generate solar fuels. In particular, she worked on developing strategies to re-wire oxidoreductases, such as the water-oxidation enzyme photosystem II, to electrodes/semiconductors/other proteins in an emerging field known as 'semi-artificial photosynthesis'. She has since been awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship and started her independent group in 2018 at the Department of Chemistry. Here, she takes on the re-wiring of photosynthesis to another level of complexity - in live cells!


Dr Samantha Hughes

Samantha Hughes


Dr Samantha Hughes is the Head of Computational and Structural Chemistry within the Oncology medicinal chemistry department at Astra Zeneca in Cambridge. She completed her PhD at Imperial College London in 2002 on molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations of protein-ligand interactions. Following her PhD she completed a postdoctoral research position investigating fibril formation in Alzhemier's Disease through mesocopic simulation methods. Samantha joined Pfizer in 2004 as a computational chemist in their medicinal chemistry department, moving to Biofocus (now Charles River laboratories) in 2011 upon the closure of the Pfizer site in Sandwich. Samantha joined AstraZeneca in 2014. 



Dr Victoria Richards

Victoria Richards


Victoria obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2013, with research experience in the fields of metal-organic frameworks, surface self-assembly, molecular magnetism and main group chemistry. Victoria began her editorial career working on ChemComm and Chemical Science at the Royal Society of Chemistry, before moving to Nature Communications in 2016, where she managed the inorganic, materials and physical chemistry team. In September 2019, Victoria became Chief Editor of Communications Chemistry



Professor Rebecca Goss



 Rebecca Goss completed her undergraduate studies and PhD, under the supervision of Prof. David O'Hagan, in Chemistry at the University of Durham. She joined the University of Cambridge in 2000 to study the chemistry and molecular biology of polyketide biosynthesis in the research group of Professors Jim Staunton (FRS) and Peter Leadlay (FRS). She held a teaching fellowship at the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham between before obtaining a lectureship at the University of Exeter in 2003. Rebecca then held a lectureship at the University of East Anglia before being promoted to senior lecturer in 2010 and then reader in organic chemistry in 2012. She then moved to the University of St. Andrews in 2012 to become a reader in biomolecular and organic chemistry. In 2018 she became the first woman to be appointed professor of organic chemistry in St Andrews' 600 year history.

Currently, research within her group focuses on natural products with important medicinal properties and in understanding how biosynthetically intriguing motifs within these compounds are assembled. From this vantage point the group harness individual enzymes as convenient tools for organic synthesis, and employ a combination of synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology to harness entire biosynthetic pathways in order to enable expeditious access to libraries of medicinally relevant compounds. These libraries may be used as tools to gain a greater understanding as to how the drug acts at the molecular level within the cell.




The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151