Turning a mountain into a lab - Synthesis on Snowdon

06 Aug 2010 14:04:43.287

 PA 208/10

 A group of research chemists from The University of Nottingham will make Wales’ highest mountain their lab this weekend, as they aim to synthesise an anti-cancer drug at the summit of Snowdon.

The Moses Biomimetic Research Group, part of the School of Chemistry, will climb Snowdon on Saturday 7August. When they reach the top, ten PhD students — led by Dr John Moses — will synthesise the drug Cisplatin. Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat various types of cancer.

The team are hoping to raise £2,000 for the Association for International Cancer Research, which funds cancer research projects all over the world. The chemicals that the team will use in their attempt have been supplied by the life science and technology company Sigma Aldrich.

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“It’s one of those ideas that started out as a joke suggestion in the pub, but then evolved into something that was really worth doing,” said Dr Moses, Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry. “This team-building exercise will hopefully raise some money for a worthy cause, while also raising awareness of what chemists can do. It’ll be fun being outdoors for once too!”

The team anticipate that the attempt will take six hours, using one of the more difficult paths up the mountain.

“The event will raise awareness of cancer and chemistry in one go — things the group feel very passionately about,” said group member Sally Dempster. “This area is a particularly important to us because most of the group have had people close to them that have been affected by cancer. We are already putting our time and hard work into tackling this worldwide problem. But research can only continue with funding which either comes from the Government of from charities — which is why we need as much support as possible.”

To find out more about the attempt or to sponsor ‘Synthesis on Snowdon’ visit www.justgiving.com/mosesresearchgroup

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Sally Dempster on +44 (0) 7793 989151
Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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