Prize Winning Organic Chemistry Poster
UCC student Denis Beecher, was awarded the prize for the best organic chemistry poster at 61st Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium held at Dublin Institute of Technology from 17-19 June 2009.He received the prize, sponsored by Pfizer, for his poster entitled “ A Chemoenzymatic Route to Enantiopure Hydroxytetrahydrofurans: Muscarine and its Analogues”
Denis holds a B.Sc.(Hons) chemistry degree from UCC and is currently engaged in Ph.D. research in The Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility, Department of Chemistry under the joint supervision of Professor Anita Maguire and Dr. Dan McCarthy. His research, supported through award of an EMBARK Scholarship from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (Ircset), involves the synthesis and biotransformations (stereoselective reductions) of heterocyclic ketones with the organism bakers’ yeast in order to produce hydroxytetrahydrofurans as individual enantiomers. Synthesis of the alkaloid muscarine, its stereoisomers and analogues are the initial targets of this research.
Biotransformations of organic compounds mediated by whole cell systems and isolated enzymes are becoming increasingly important as synthesis tools in the Irish pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry.