Delight in Learning
St Als Scientists Visit Glasgow University Lab
Last week, eight of our Higher Chemistry pupils visited Professor Robert Liskamp’s research lab at Glasgow University.
Prof Liskamp is the Chair of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at Glasgow University. His research is directed towards the creation of molecules which can be used to find out more about diseases like infections and cancers and may help in the treatment of such diseases.
Anna Griffin was part of the visit and remarked upon her day:
“We left the school at 8.50 and were met at the university by Susan Gannan, the lab manager. We then split up into pairs and each pair joined with one of the post-graduate students working at the lab to carry out the experiment.
The experiment, which involved the use of protecting groups in the production of amino acids, combined familiar theory and techniques with the use of new equipment and chemicals and enhanced our understanding of the underlying chemistry behind the reactions taking place.
The postgraduate students later informed us of the amazing and varied applications for which they were using these processes, including finding a cure for genetic disorders which come about as a result of the way the DNA has been folded, such as leukemia, or finding a cure for hepatitis B. They are even trying to find a pesticide which kills crop pests and mosquitoes but does not affect pollinators and does not build up so will not damage the environment. All of these applications are currently being investigated by the postgraduate students themselves.
We would like to thank Professor Liskamp for allowing us to work in his lab and thank all of the team there for giving up their day to help us, teach us and work with us. It was a great experience and privilege being invited to work there and having the opportunity to use high tech equipment and techniques we would never have had the chance to use otherwise.