Farewell Dinner for Marion, Escom visiting student

Marion, visiting student from Escom, France, has finished her summer visit. She did a fantastic job as part of her technician placement, working on Enzyme-Responsive Nanomaterials with Nacho. To celebrate her hard work over that last couple of months, all the group went out for a nice Japanese meal at Selly Oak’s Yakinori. Best of luck to Marion on her final years at Escom. Looking forward to see you again.

Review accepted in RSC’s Analyst – Electrochemistry to detect pathogens

Our review on using electrochemistry to detect pathogens has been just accepted for publication by RSC’s Analyst. This is the result of a collaboration with Para Rodriguez’s group here in Birmingham. The review presents an essential description of the three major electrochemical sensing methods used in the detection of pathogens, and the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. It was written by Nacho and Javier Monzo, who works in Para Rodriguez’s lab. More details of the review can be found here.


Paco gives invited talk at 1st Keele Nanopharmaceutics Symposium

Last Friday, Paco delivered a talk on novel polymeric antimicrobials at the 1st Keele Nanopharmaceutics Symposium. Overall, it was a great day of science and a great opportunity to catch up with some of our friends at Keele and other people working in this field.

Farewell Dinner with IIT Bombay visiting students

IIT Bombay students have finished their summer research visit. To celebrate their hard work over that last couple of months, the group went out. Evening started with dinner in a traditional Birmingham Balti Restaurant, and ended up having some drinks in the city centre. Members of the group of Paramaconi Rodriguez (Ampere Group), host of Shubhadeep, joined us during the evening. Best of luck Arka and the other students on your final years at IIT Bombay. Looking forward to see you again.

Nacho does it again – Best Poster Prize at the School of Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium

Nacho won best poster prize in last week’s Postgraduate Symposium held at the School of Chemistry in Birmingham. This was a 2-day event, were the current cohort of PhD students in the school shared and discussed their research. Haydn Little from Prof. Jim Tucker’s group, and Nikhil Sahotra, from Dr Etienne Baranoff’s group, were the other poster winners.

Nikhil, Nacho and Haydn, Poster Prize winners

All PhD students in their second and third year of study contributed to this event, including Daniel who gave a poster presentation of his research.

Daniel discussing his poster with Dr Ian Shannon

New Paper Accepted in Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm.

Our research with Cameron Alexander and Klaus Winzer (Nottingham) on the effect of pH and polymer composition on bacteria clustering by polymers has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (Open Access). This work shows that the ability of the polymers to form clusters of bacteria is highly dependent on the pH of the environment. Interestingly, clustering is reinforced by the presence of catechol moieties. However, these catechols are not able to trigger aggregation on their own. Not surprisingly, the ability of the polymers to cluster bacteria is highly dependent on the nature of the bacteria. Overall, this research shows the importance of understanding the parameters that dictate polymer-bacteria interactions in the design of novel antimicrobial polymers.

Thesis in Iceland

Paco had the honour to be invited to act as external (opponent in Iceland) for a viva at the University of Iceland. Priyanka Sahariah, from Prof Mar Másson’s group in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences defended her work “Chitosan Derivatives Mimicking Structural Motifs Present in Antimicrobial Peptides (Synthesis and Antibacterial Properties)”. Overall it was a great experience for Paco, who was able to enjoy not only great science, but some of the great things that Iceland has to offer.

More pictures can be found here

Talk at the MacroGroup UK Award Meeting

Last week Paco gave a talk on synthetic polymers to target microbial communication as part of the 2015 MacroGroup UK symposium. Cameron Alexander (Paco’s former supervisor in Nottingham) and Karen Wooley (Texas A&M University) received the Macro Group UK Medal 2014 and the RSC Centenary Prize respectively. The meeting took place at the University of Warwick, and there were presentations from the awardees, Paco and Gemma-Louise Davies (Warwick). Overall, it was a great day of science and a great opportunity to catch up with former collaborators and friends.


Another Student Success

Emma Leire, joint PhD student with Cameron Alexander (Nottingham) and Eduardo Fernandez-Megía (USC, Spain) wins Best Poster Prize at the UKICRS meeting last week. Making dendrimers to interfere with bacteria Quorum Sensing, funded through Erasmus Mundus NanoFar Doctorate programme. Well done!

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