PMBRC Researcher to Develop Collaboration with Leading Australian Research Team

Dr Damian Connolly award RSC fellowship to work with the University of Tasmania

Dr Damian Connolly, lecturer of Analytical Chemistry and researcher within the PMBRC at WIT, has been awarded a JWT Jones Travelling Fellowship by the Royal Society of Chemistry to develop collaborations with researchers at the University of Tasmania. The JWT Jones Travelling Fellowship Program is designed to promote international cooperation in chemistry.  Specifically, it will enable younger chemists, or those working in a related discipline, to carry out short-term studies in well-established scientific centres and to learn and use techniques and research methods not accessible to them in their own country. The Fellowship will allow Dr Connolly to travel to Australia during July and August to work directly with Prof. Brett Paull and his team at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS).

 Dr. Connolly specialises in separation science which involves the exploitation of physical properties and molecular interactions of chemical and biological species such that they can be separated and individually quantified in complex mixtures. As such, separation science is an enabling technology, facilitating important advances in the fields of fundamental exploratory science, environmental monitoring, health monitoring, food production and the generation and quality control of pharmaceuticals. During his visit, Dr. Connolly will develop novel methods for the characterisation of pharmaceuticals using mixed-mode chromatography in capillary formats.

 Mixed-mode liquid chromatography involves at least two (and often three) complementary and orthogonal retention mechanisms on the same stationary phase without a need to use ion-pairing reagents (which are incompatible with mass spectrometric detection). The advent of mixed mode stationary phases opens up the possibility of comprehensive analysis of hydrophobic/hydrophilic APIs and their counter-ions on a single column using a single injection and a simple isocratic or gradient mobile phase.

 The proposal is closely linked to the core strengths of the PMBRC. There is already international recognition of the PMBRC as a leading research base for Analytical Science, and this programme of research will lead to a boost in high quality publications, conference presentations and other research performance indicators for WIT.