Old Sections

Message from the Director of the ABCRF


Welcome to the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility, a state of the art interdisciplinary research centre housed in the new Cavanagh Pharmacy Building, University College Cork.  Directed by Professor Anita Maguire, the ABCRF recognises that most of the key developments in the Pharmaceutical area today take place at the Chemistry-Biology interface, with interdisciplinary teams of researchers drawn from Chemistry, Pharmacy and the BioSciences contributing to the design and development of new pharmaceutical agents.  Accordingly, with the support of PRTLI3 and PRTLI4, UCC has established this new research facility combining researchers from Chemistry - Synthetic and Analytical - and Biochemistry to bridge these two research disciplines.

Clearly, complementary research expertise within the ABCRF, The BioSciences Institute, School of Pharmacy, Biotransfer Unit and Tyndall National Institute will lead to exciting research collaborations in the future.

Further Development

In 2006, the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building (CPB) was opened, and the ABCRF moved into this building together with the new School of Pharmacy, thereby creating a state-of-the-art centre for research in the pharmaceutical sciences at University College Cork. The ABCRF occupies 1200m2 in the CPB (ca. €5.2M capital investment), consisting of research laboratories for Biochemistry, Analytical and BioAnalytical Chemistry and Synthetic (Organic, Medicinal, Pharmaceutical, BioInorganic) Chemistry, and instrument rooms for large infrastructural equipment (LC-MS and NMR in basement, PXRD and single crystal X-ray diffraction in a dedicated Solid State Pharmaceuticals lab on the 2nd floor) and associated office and write-up space. A strategic decision was made at the outset of the building design to co-locate the ABCRF Biochemistry lab in the 1st floor with the Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutics research teams of the School of Pharmacy, and to co-locate the ABCRF Chemistry labs with the Pharmaceutical Chemistry research teams of the School of Pharmacy on the 2nd floor of the CPB, with shared central facilities such as cold rooms, utility areas, board room etc to encourage interaction and collaboration between the ABCRF and SOP researchers. As the ABCRF researchers are mainly based in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, while the School of Pharmacy is in the College of Medicine and Health, the CPB is one of the major buildings at the interface between the two Colleges.


Extensive collaboration exists between the various locations in terms of equipment and resources. The CPB also contains a number of facilities relating to interaction with the pharmaceutical industry – an industrial suite (120m2 ), an aseptic suite and a processing suite, critical to the mission of the ABCRF in interacting with the sector. Access to these key resources to underpin collaboration with industry is one of the outstanding features of the ABCRF; indeed when Pfizer commenced the Process Development Centre in Cork in 2003 they occupied labs in UCC for the first year until their own facilities were constructed. More recently GSK researchers have occupied the industry suite.


The original PRTLI3 proposal for the ABCRF consisted of 10 research teams; however since its establishment there has been considerable expansion in the ABCRF PI's as new staff have been appointed in relevant disciplines, partly associated with the recruitment to the School of Pharmacy. Many of the more experienced PI's have retired in the past few years. The current PI's are as follows:

Analytical Chemistry:

  • Prof. J. Glennon – Deputy Director
  • Prof. G. Guilbault (Emeritus since 2002) RIP
  • Dr M. Pravda
  • Dr D. Fitzpatrick
  • Dr D. Arrigan – Tyndall PI
  • Prof. J. Luong – SFI Walton Fellow 2008-9


  • Prof. D. Papkovsky
  • Prof. J. Heffron (Emeritus since 2007)
  • Dr J. McCarthy
  • Dr J. Fleming

Organic, Pharmaceutical, Medicinal and BioInorganic Chemistry:

  • Prof. Anita R. Maguire - Director
  • Prof. W.B. Jennings (Emeritus since 2007)
  • Dr D. McCarthy
  • Dr H. Moynihan
  • Dr O. Ni Dhubhghaill
  • Dr S. Lawrence
  • Dr J.J. Keating
  • Dr F. McCarthy
  • Dr S. Collins
  • Dr T. O'Sullivan
  • Dr G. McGlacken


  • Dr. A. Crean


  • D. Curran

Research Support Officers:

  • Dr N. Maguire
  • Dr L. Bateman - NMR Spectroscopist

Molecular modelling:

  • Dr N.O'Boyle - (Molecular Modelling & Computational Chemistry - Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre)

ABCRF Mission Statement

To undertake world class research programmes at the Chemistry-Biology interface focused on: 

  • Synthesis
  • Separation
  • Detection/Characterisation

The key feature is that the research programmes will apply these core techniques to compounds spanning the range from small molecules to large biomolecules thereby bridging the traditional gaps between Chemistry and Biochemistry.

To create an interdisciplinary environment where research towards the development of novel pharmaceutical agents both independently and in collaboration with industry is enabled.

To train postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers for careers in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors


The ABCRF is led by a Management Team which meets regularly; this group was particularly active during the design and start-up phase of the building, and is now beginning to pursue joint programmes of research.

  • Director – Anita Maguire (Synthetic Chemistry)
  • Deputy Director – Jeremy Glennon (Analytical Chemistry)
  • Dmitri Papkovsky (Biochemistry)
  • Debbie Curran

However, all of the PI's are member of another entity – Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy, Tyndall Institute and therefore the governance within the ABCRF focuses in particular on the physical research infrastructure and strategic research initiatives e.g. PRTLI4, SFI UREKA and SRC proposals. On a day to day basis the groupings of PI's within each of the areas – Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Synthetic Chemistry - manage their lab space and equipment, interfacing with the relevant departments/school as appropriate.

Publicity Relating to the ABCRF

In this section you will find published articles and documents that are of interest to the ABCRF


"Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Some Macrocyclic C13-Lactones" Nuala M. Maguire, Mary F. Mahon, Kieran C. Molloy, Gordon Read, Stanley M. Roberts and Vladimir Sik, J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1, 1991, 2054.

"Chemoenzymatic Synthesis and Some Reactions of (13S)-Hydroxyoctadecadienoic Acid [(13S)-HODE] and Analogues” Nuala M. Maguire, Gordon Read, Paul F. Richardson and Stanley M. Roberts, J. Chem. Res. (S), 1994, 376-377.

"Synthesis of Novel Oxa-Isosteres of Spermidine and Spermine" Paul Kong Thoo Lin, Nuala M. Maguire and Daniel M. Brown, Tetrahedron Lett., 1994, 35, 3605-3608.

"Effect of Three Novel Polyamine Oxa-Analogues (MTR-OSPD, DIP-SPN and APPO-TFA) on the Growth and Proliferation of Swiss 3T3 Cells" Susan Bardocz, Mohamed Sakhri, Arpad Pusztai, Nuala M. Maguire and Paul Kong Thoo Lin, Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol., 1996, 28, 697-704.

"The Synthesis of Oxa-Analogues & Homologues of Naturally Occurring Polyamines" P. K. T. Lin, V. A. Kuksa and N. M. Maguire, Synthesis, 1998, 859.

Postdoctoral Research Staff

The following are brief profiles of each of our postdoctoral researchers.  In most cases, a link is provided for further details

Brief Biography

2003 - present: ABCRF Administration

2008 - present: Member of the UCC Equality Committee.

2008 - present: Member of College of SEFS Administrative working group.

2004 - present: Human Resource Representative.

2004 - Diploma in Personnel Management, University College Cork (CIPD)

Research Interests

His research interests include nanostructure-based biosensors, probing cell behavior by impedance spectroscopy, labs-on-chips, fabrication and bioanalytical application of nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes.

He has 5 patents to his credit, and several other patents pending, has published over 200 scientific articles and has served on the editorial board of several international journals. He has received several awards for research excellence.

Research in the ABCRF

The ABCRF plays a rather unique role in terms of researcher development, from the earliest stages right through to developing a career in industry or in research. Thus ABCRF PI’s are very actively involved in programmes to promote careers in science at both first and second level; delivery of a range of undergraduate degrees relevant to the pharmaceutical sciences including work placements in the pharma sector both in Ireland and overseas; the ABCRF hosts undergraduate summer research projects; postgraduate education combining both the usual academic elements such as biweekly seminars incorporating presentation and problem solving skills, and in addition, extensive exposure to the pharma sector through industrial placements for PhD students,  industry seminars etc; collaborative projects with industry involving both PhD students and postdoctoral researchers leading to very valuable experience for the researchers at the industry-academic interface.

Many of the ABCRF researchers are involved in interdisciplinary programmes of research. The employment record of PhD graduates and postdocs from the ABCRF teams in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in synthetic and analytical areas, is excellent, reflecting the match between the training provided within the ABCRF and the skills needs of the companies. It is clear that many of the PhD students in the ABCRF leverage the experience and insight gained during an industrial placement during their PhD research, in developing their career on completion of their PhD in the industrial sector.

In addition to its research mission however, the ABCRF also plays a strategic role in relation to the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland, through research collaborations, provision of technical services, skills provision, especially at PhD level, and policy development in line with the Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI published in 2006). It is clear that both in industry and at a national policy level, the ABCRF is highly regarded for its contribution in this area and indeed in facilitating increased R&D activity.

Cavanagh Pharmacy Building Industry Suite

The Industry Suite (120 m2), housed in the Cavanagh Pharmacy building, enables accommodation of collaborative industrial research in a secure environment, and is a unique feature of the ABCRF.  The suite consists of a containment lab, a chemistry lab for synthetic and analytical work and a formulation lab in addition to a secure write-up area.

Access to this key resource underpins collaboration with industry as one of the outstanding features of the ABCRF; indeed when Pfizer commenced the Process Development Centre in Cork in 2003 they occupied labs in UCC for the first year until their own facilities were constructed. More recently GSK researchers have occupied the industry suite.

For more information on our industry suite, please contact: Prof Anita R Maguire (a.maguire@ucc.ie) / Prof Caitriona O'Driscoll (caitriona.odriscoll@ucc.ie)  

NMR Services


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy - based on the interaction of matter (chemical compounds) with electromagnetic energy (radio frequency range) in the presence of a magnetic field, is widely employed by chemists for the determination of molecular structure, the study of molecular properties, and chemical reaction dynamics. A related technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used in clinical medicine.

The Analytical and Biological Research Facility at UCC has developed a major initiative in NMR spectroscopy. This encompasses four specialised Bruker NMR spectrometers that support a broad spectrum of teaching and research activities at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Each instrument is located in dedicated, air-conditioned laboratories in the Kane Building and Cavanagh School of Pharmacy Building, UCC. 

UCC now has excellent NMR facilities for chemistry teaching and research in the following areas: determination of molecular structure and stereochemistry, investigation of reaction mechanisms, conformational analysis of organic molecules, heterocyclic chemistry, enantioselective synthesis of bio-active compounds, pharmaceutical chemistry, palladium complexes related to anti-cancer compounds, catalysis and materials. Collaborative, NMR linked projects with the biological and food sciences and the Irish pharmaceutical industry are envisaged, in the areas of process research and development, protein structure and metabolomics. 

For NMR services to industry, please contact Dr Daniel G McCarthy/Dr Lorraine Bateman on +353-21-4901670

The 400 MHz spectrometer was kindly donated by Pfizer to UCC in 2008.  A joint collaboration has been established between the two parties and has enhanced UCC's reputation as a world-class research institution and educator in state-of the-art research and technology for Ireland's rapidly developing pharmaceutical industry. The facility is used daily by researchers from both the ABCRF and the Pfizer Process Development Centre in Cork. 

Link to http://www.ucc.ie/en/abcrf/news/fullstory,67337,en.html

BRUKER AVANCE 600 UltraShieldTM NMR spectrometer with CryoProbeTM technology

  • 600 MHz UltraShieldTM magnet
  • Advanced user access via ICONNMR
  • AVANCE III digital NMR console
  • CryoProbeTM technology for increased sensitivity
  • SAMPLEJET sample changer with a 47 position carousel and capacity for up to 480 additional tubes via five 96-well plate arrangement
  • Equipped with GRASP accessory for gradient spectroscopy, BOSS-II shim set, Z1 gradient controller, 3-channel amplifier, BCU-05 sample chiller
  • Standard probes: BBO 109Ag – 31P with proton decoupling Z1-gradient and ATMA; TXI 1H – 13C – 15N with proton decoupling, Z1-gradient and ATMA
  • Cryoprobes: CPDCH – 1H and 13C observe with Z1 gradient and proton decoupling with ATMA;  CPTCI – inverse triple resonance probe with 1H observe with 13C and 15N decoupling, Z1 gradient with ATMA
  • Variable temperature capability
  • HPxw4600 workstation and TOPSPIN (2.1) software
  • BRUKER NMR GLP license

The 600MHz NMR spectrometer, commissioned in November 2008 was co-funded by the HEA and NDP (through PRTLI 4), and SFI.  


To find us from Cork City Centre: Travel West along Washington Street to the Western Road.  Turn left at Donovan's Road (Road just at the main Pedestrian entrance to UCC).  Take a right turn at the top of Donovan's Road and travel past the next  junction.  The Cavanagh Pharmacy Building is on the right hand side of the road, adjacent to the Bon Secours hospital on College Road.

ABCRF General Postgraduate/Postdoc information

In this page you will find documents/news items relating to staff/students of the ABCRF only.

Conference programme

Programme details will follow

Conference Registration

Registration details will follow.

Academic Vacancies

There are currently no vacancies in the ABCRF.

Research Vacancies


Postdoctoral Researcher

Closing Date for Applications: 18th February 2011
Department: ABCRF
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time (1 year contract)
Job Type: Postdoctoral Research Salary: €37,750 – 46,255  DOE

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research assistant in University College Cork in an interdisciplinary team focussing on a research project in collaboration with an international biomedical device company in the region.  The project is in a novel area of research focussing on the convergence of medical devices with active pharmaceutical ingredients.  The contract is for 1 year.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Chemistry, Pharmaceutics or a relevant discipline.  Experience in the pharma/medical device industry would be an advantage.

To Apply:

Suitably qualified applicants should submit a full CV, contact details for 2 referees and a 1 page summary of your research expertise & experience to:

Debbie Curran
Cavanagh Pharmacy Building
University College Cork,
Tel:  +353-21-4901694   
Fax:  +353-21-4901770
E-mail:   debbie.curran@ucc.ie

For informal discussion on this position, please contact Dr Humphrey Moynihan at 021-4902488 or h.moynihan@ucc.ie


Your Search results


Current Research Collaborations

Key research collaborations exist with many of the major pharmaceutical companies both within Irleand and globally, e.g. with Novartis, Eli Lilly, Pfizer.  The following cites some current research activity & collaboration within the ABCRF.

  • Research led by D. Papkovsky has led to the spin out copmany Luxcel Biosciences; D. Papkovsky is currently the CSO for this company.

  • Participation in the SFI Strategic Research Cluster focused on Solid State Pharmaceuticals, links the ABCRF with 5 Universities and 9 Multinational companies.

Cavanagh Pharmacy Building

Bruker Avance 300 NMR Spectrometer

  • Available on open access via ICONNMR for authorized users 
  • BACS-60 sample changer, which permits optimum use of instrument time and rapid sample processing
  • Equipped with a 5 mm broadband multinuclear probe with ATMA, BOSS-II shim set, Z1 gradient controller and variable temperature facility (- 60 oC to + 180 oC); a dedicated 11B NMR probe with proton decoupling channel, 
  • HPxw4300 workstation and TOPSPIN (1.3) software operating system.

300 NMR

Bruker Avance 400 Spectrometer

  • Available on open access via ICONNMR for authorized users 
  • BACS-60 sample changer, which permits optimum use of instrument time and rapid sample processing
  • Equipped with a 5 mm QNP probe( 1H, 13C, 31P, 19F)  with BOSS-II shim set, Z-1 gradient controller, probe heater
  • HPxw4300 workstation TOPSPIN (1.3) operating software
  • BRUKER NMR GLP license

NMR 400 Spectrometer

Bruker Avance 500 NMR Spectrometer

  • Advanced user access via ICONNMR
  • SIXPACK sample changer
  • Equipped with a 5 mm dual C/H probe, Z1 gradient, a 5 mm QNP (1H, 13C, 31P, 19F) probe, with ATMA, BOSS-II shim set, Z1 gradient controller, 2H lock switch
  • Variable temperature capability (including NMR experiments at -90o C on dual C/H  probe), BCU-05 sample chiller
  • HPxw4300 workstation and TOPSPIN  (1.3) software
  • BRUKER NMR GLP license

NMR 500 Spectrometer

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Further information on our Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry service will be added soon

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

7th Annual Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry

On Friday 2nd October 2009, the 7th Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry was held in the ABCRF, UCC.  Nine postgraduate students currently undertaking research for PhD degrees in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry presented their research work at the symposium.  Prize winners, judged by Eli Lilly participants, were: Charlotte Miller (1st), Dawn Kelly (2nd), and Michael Cahill (3rd).  Runners up were: Sarah Keane, Brian Feerick, Sharon McSweeney, Liam Greaney and Tina Marie Brennan.

Eli Lilly Logo

10th Annual Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry

On Friday 28th September 2012, the 10th Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry will be held in the ABCRF, UCC.  Postgraduate students currently undertaking research for PhD degrees in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry will present their research work at the symposium adjudicated by Eli Lilly representatives.  The symposium will start at 1.00pm in LG51, Cavanagh Pharmacy Building. 

This years marks the 10th Anniversary of this symposium!

All are welcome to attend.  

Download the agenda & programme  below.

Eli Lilly Logo

About the ABCRF

The Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility was funded under PRTLI3 and therefore commenced as a research grouping in 2003. The ABCRF brought together for the first time the research teams in Chemistry and Biochemistry working in areas of research relevant to the pharmaceutical sector, albeit with the various research teams located in a number of different locations across the campus. Over 2003-2005, design and construction of the dedicated research labs and infrastructure was undertaken.


Waters/ABCRF Mass Spectrometry Service

The recently opened Waters-ABCRF High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Laboratory provides high resolution mass spectrometry services to the Analytical and Biological Research Facility (ABCRF), the Department of Chemistry, and associated internal and external users.  We have well established links with the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the Munster region and educational institutions throughout the country. 

The mass spectrometry group specialises in the characterisation of compounds within the mass ranges of 50-2000 Da.  Equipment includes two new mass spectrometers from Waters/Micromass: an LCT Premier Time Of Flight instrument and a Quattro Micro triple quadrupole instrument. Both instruments are set up for high throughput Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) and are a significant addition to the facilities at the ABCRF and the Chemistry Department.

Mass Spectrometer

X-Ray Crystallography

The ABCRF is well equipped for diffraction studies on organic materials. It has a Stöe Stadi MP diffractometer for PXRD, with autosamplers for both capillary and transmission foil work. The can work in both transmission and reflection geometry.

It has a Bruker APEX Duo diffractometer, with a Mo sealed tube and Cu microfocus source, for single crystal diffraction. This is fitted with an Oxford Cryosystems Cobra for accessing temperatures in the range 80 - 400 K.

It also has the first Bruker SMART X2S automated benchtop diffractometer in Europe.

For further details please contact Dr Simon Lawrence (s.lawrence@ucc.ie or +353 21 490 3143).

X-Ray Crystallography

Almac/UCC joint Symposium

On Wednesday 28th April 2010, the ABCRF will host a joint Almac/UCC Symposium on 'Pharmaceutical Polymorphs and Cocrystallisation'.

This symposium is a result of a collaboration between UCC and Almac under the SFI Technology & Innovation Development award.

The symposium will take place in Lecture theatre LG52, Cavanagh Pharmacy Building.  For further details, please download the agenda below.

To register your interest in attending, please contact:
Debbie Curran
Cavanagh Pharmacy Building
University College Cork
Tel: +353-21-4901694
Fax: +353-21-4901770
Email: debbie.curran@ucc.ie

Almac Logo

Research in the ABCRF

The research strategy of the centre is focused on bringing together interdisciplinary teams of researchers working in areas of Chemistry and Biochemistry relevant to the pharmaceutical sciences; strategic partnership with the researchers in the School of Pharmacy especially teams with expertise in formulation, drug delivery and mode of action provides the full range of research expertise to ensure effective multidisciplinary research in all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences.

Drug discovery and development is a very exciting area of research critically dependent on effective interdisciplinary teams bringing together expertise in target discovery, mode of action, medicinal and synthetic chemistry, analysis, drug formulation and delivery. The regulatory hurdles posed for new therapeutic agents in terms of safety and efficacy are very high and accordingly the global pipeline of new drugs is currently very limited even among the major pharma companies. Accordingly partnerships between companies and teams of academic researchers have become increasingly important as a mechanism to bring new approaches and discoveries to address this challenge.

The Cavanagh Building grouping brings together research teams with expertise spanning most of the key disciplines required for drug discovery and development, and therefore, UCC is ideally suited to develop meaningful and effective collaborations with companies as the industry evolves, as the traditional disciplinary barriers have already been reduced. It is clear that PhD graduates from the ABCRF as they develop careers in the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland and internationally will be involved in an industry which is developing new therapeutic agents based on both small molecule and biologics. Traditional graduate education in chemistry tends to produce experts in the small molecule arena but with little insight into biologics, while in biosciences PhD graduates who are adept with biomolecules often have limited insight into small molecules. Success in the dynamic global pharmaceutical sector will depend on a flexible and adaptable workforce who can respond to the technical aspects of new therapeutic agents.

One of the objectives of the ABCRF is to ensure that PhD graduates are trained in a flexible interdisciplinary environment providing them with the skills necessary to ensure they can adapt to work on both small and large molecule therapeutic agents as their career in the pharmaceutical industry develops. To achieve this, the ABCRF has been established around three basic themes - Synthesis, Separation and Detection / Characterisation - each encompassing the full range from small molecule to biomolecule to ensure that while the expertise of the researchers is focused in one area they are at least familiar with the other areas through seminars etc.

As many of the PI's have been involved in development of undergraduate programmes in Chemistry with Forensic Science, Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds, Pharmacy, MSc programmes in Biotechnology, Analysis of Pharmaceutical Compounds, Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Systems (QP course), MEngSc in Pharmaceutical Engineering, a comprehensive learning environment to support multidisciplinary education is in place, with access to up to date modules ranging from topics focused on the full range of small molecules to biomolecules.

ABCRF Strategic Plan 2009 - 2013

Since the establishment of the ABCRF in 2003 and opening of the labs in 2006 much energy has been focused on the design and start-up of the physical infrastructure including securing large items of equipment such as NMR, LC-MS, PXRD etc. and staff recruitment.

Building on this infrastructural development, 2009-13 will be focused on enhancing the research programmes within each of the teams, capitalising on the strategic investment in the first few years and increasing research output. Key areas include Synthesis - Organic, Pharmaceutical, Medicinal and Bioinorganic, Analysis and BioAnalysis, Solid State Pharmaceuticals, and Formulation & Drug Delivery.

Areas of Interest - ABCRF Researchers

Prof Anita R Maguire
Organic and Pharmaceutical synthesis. Novel methodologies, asymmetric synthesis, medicinal chemistry, crystal engineering. a-Diazocarbonyl compounds and organosulfur compounds in synthesis. Biocatalysis and transition metal catalysis. Bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical applications

Prof Jeremy D Glennon
Analytical/Separation science. Including bio-chromatography and supercritical fluid extraction technology. Chelating solid phase materials and membranes for metal ion extraction. Macrocyclic and Hydroxamate Phases for Chromatography. Miniaturised Separation Devices for Environmental and Process Analysis.

Prof Dmitri Papkovsky
O2 in biology: metabolism, mitochondrial function, bioenergetics, hypoxia. Sensing/imaging of O2 in cells/tissues. O2 as a marker of cellular (dys)function: Application to cancer, neuroscience, environmental toxicology. Porphyrin-based sensors and probes. Phosphorescent materials. Advanced (bio)Materials, bioconjugate Chemistry.

Dr Damien Arrigan
Investigation of electrochemical behaviour at liquid-liquid interfaces, encompassing the study of how that behaviour can be used for detection of substances of biological importance. Convergence engineered micro- and nano-devices leading to improved performance for practical applications.

Dr Stuart Collins
Organic chemistry. Natural product synthesis with particular relevance to medicinal chemistry. Microwave assisted reactions of novel a-diazocarbonyl compounds. Semi-synthesis of lanosterol derivatives and total synthesis of neolamellarin analogues.

Dr Abina Crean
Drug delivery systems and solid-state engineering to enhance the bioavailability of therapeutic compounds. Solid-state characterisation techniques including thermal analysis and crystallography.  Pharmaceutical processing technologies and drug physicochemical properties.

Dr Dara Fitzpatrick
Biophysical and Environmental science. Novel routes to trans-dermal delivery, particulate characterization and toxin analysis. Audible Sound Waves as a new form of Spectroscopy. Risk assessment and predictive modelling of exogenous compounds via the dermal route.

Dr JJ Keating
Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry. Impurity profiling of amphetamine-type drugs of abuse. Synthesis and biological activity of pharmacologically active natural products and their synthetic analogues.

Dr Simon Lawrence
Solid State Chemistry. Controlling matter at the nano-scale with emphasis on compounds of pharmaceutical interest. Structural control of the crystalline state, involving crystal engineering, supramolecular chemistry and polymorphism.

Dr Dan McCarthy
Organic Chemistry. Synthetic methodologies, kinetics and mechanisms. Molecular structure determination using NMR. Unsaturated organic compounds, heterocyclic chemistry, organic sulphur and selenium chemistry, reactive intermediates, organic reaction mechanisms, asymmetric synthesis.

Dr Florence McCarthy
Medicinal Chemistry. Drug discovery and cancer research strategies. Mass spectrometry applied to pharmaceutical analysis. Erb B, Wee 1, and Chk 1 kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Ellipticine and Phytosterol derivatives and their mechanism of biological effect. Molecular modelling and its application to medicinal chemistry.

Dr Justin McCarthy
Signalling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of disease. Cell signalling in normal/diseased tissue. Drug target discovery, validation and assay development. Identification/characterization of disease-relevant alterations in presenilin functions and how these may pertain to pathogenesis/progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Ger McGlacken
Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Molecular design and synthesis, new synthetic methodology and application to total synthesis and molecules of biological importance. Specifically, the asymmetric substitution of ketones and the area of C–H activation/direct arylation.

Dr Humphrey Moynihan
Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Molecular Solids with emphasis on synthesis, crystallization and crystal polymorphism. The supramolecular structure of pharmaceutical solids, in particular crystallization, crystal form characterisation, polymorphism and related issues.

Dr Orla Ni Dhubhghaill
Bio-inorganic chemistry. Synthesis and screening of potential anti-cancer compounds. Synthesis and reactivity of Group 10 complexes with potential biological activity.  Complexation behaviour of tridentate hemi-labile phosphine-containing ligands ( P,N,O or P,N,S-based) with Group 10 and 11 transition metals as well as design and synthesis of novel ammine ligands (N,N,O and N,N,P-based) and their Pt(II) and Pt(IV) complexes. 

Dr Noel O’Boyle
Applying computational techniques to problems in drug discovery. Specifically, developing and applying protein-ligand docking and pharmacophore methodologies, in crystal structure prediction and in the development of QSPR models for prediction of physical properties.

Dr Tim O’Sullivan
Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Development and optimisation of synthetic strategies towards biologically active products and the subsequent analogue synthesis. Novel, chiral tethers for the control of intramolecular, aryl-aryl coupling and their application to the synthesis of axially chiral biphenyls which display anti-HIV activity.

Dr Miloslav Pravda
Analytical Chemistry. Bio-detection strategies applied to clinical, forensic and environmental analysis. Design of sensors and biosensors, as well as forensic analysis.

Two New Adjunct Professors

The ABCRF is delighted to welcome two new Adjunct Professors!

Professors Tony McKervey and John Luong are internationally renowned researchers in Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry respectively.

Their input to the ABCRF will be enormously beneficial to the PhD students and early career researchers within the ABCRF bringing their perspective and experience to the research teams in Cork.



64th Chemistry Colloquium prize

Congratulations to ABCRF Postgraduate student Richard O'Connor on his recent success at the 64th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium held in University Limerick, 14-15th June 2012.




ABCRF PhD student waxing lyrical...

"Marine natural products have become a major source of new chemical entities in the discovery of potential anticancer agents."  Congratulations to ABCRF Postgraduate student Donal Harrold on his recent successes at the UCC Doctoral Showcase.

Irish Area Section Biochemical Society Award for UCC Student

Run Yan, PhD student in the Department of Biochemistry and Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF), has been awarded first prize for his research work presented at the Biochemical Society Irish Area Section Annual Meeting , “Protein folding and misfolding: mechanisms and consequences” hosted recently at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Bruker/ABCRF Seminar launches new partnership

On 17th November 2011 a seminar on Structure Solutions was held in University College Cork, organised jointly by the Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility and Bruker UK. 

The event simultaneously marked the launch of a new partnership between Bruker and the ABCRF.


9th Eli Lilly Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry

The 9th Annual Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry took place on Friday 16th September 2011. The event, sponsored by Eli Lilly was once again a great success.


Training session of Agilent 6510 QToF, LCMS for ISSC Researchers

An intensive two day training session was organised by Agilent technologies for the Irish separation science cluster (ISSC) researcher in the department of chemistry & ABCRF, UCC on 15th September 2011.

XXth Conference of the Groupement des Pharmacochimistes de l’Arc Atlantique (GP2A)

The 20th Conference of the Groupement des Pharmacochimistes de l'Arc Atlantique (GP2A) was held in UCC this year on the 1st - 2nd September 2011, hosted by the ABCRF.



ACS International Year of Chemistry Poster Prize award

Congratulations to Kevin Eccles, who was award the ACS International Year of Chemistry Poster Prize at the 2011 American Crystallographic Assocation meeting in New Orleans.

8th Advanced Study Course on Optical Chemical Sensors

ASCOS 2011 will be held from Thursday, July 21st till Thursday, July 28th, 2011 in Cork City, at the premises of the University College Cork. Similar to the previous event, ASCOS-2011 will have a defined topic: Optical Chemical Sensors for the Life Sciences. 


Food contamination test gets global green light

GETTING ILL from eating contaminated food is a very unpleasant experience and food manufacturers continually test their products to ensure it does not happen.

by Olive Keogh, Irish Times


Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules VI

The Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules VI returns once again to the ABCRF on Wednesday 29th June 2011 at 10am.


IRCSET Enterprise Partnership Video Series

On Tuesday 24th May 2011, IRCSET will launch the Enterprise Partnership Video Series which features an ABCRF Enterprise partnership collaboration with Eli Lilly.


Joint Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)/Johnson & Johnson Services Inc Healthcare Innovation Programme Award (HIPA) for ABCRF Researchers

On Wednesday 11th May 2011, The Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD launched new research projects in the biomedical sphere which have been chosen under an innovative new research programme funded by the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

ABCRF Researcher Wins Top Undergraduate Award

Congratulations to Hannah Winfield who was recently presented with the Undergraduate Award for Ireland and Northern Ireland in the discipline of Chemistry in recognition of an essay about her final year project “Synthesis of Novel Indolocarbazole Derivatives.”   



Best Presentation and Poster Award at GP2A Conference.

ABCRF & Dept of Chemistry student wins prize at international conference.

Csaba Horváth Young Scientist Award for UCC Postgraduate

Jesse Omamogho, a postgraduate student, at UCC’s Chemistry Department, under the supervision of Professor Jeremy Glennon, and a researcher in the Irish Separation Science Cluster (ISSC), has won the Csaba Horváth Young Scientist Award.

One to Watch Award Ceremony

Dr Dara Fitzpatrick has been nominated by Enterprise Ireland for the ‘One to Watch Award’ ceremony to be held in Dublin on June 23rd next. Mr Conor Lenihan, TD, Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources will officiate at the event.

UCC and Almac announce collaboration

UCC and Almac (a contract research and manufacturing organisation based in Northern Ireland, specialising in integrated drug development and human health) are proud to announce the official launch of an academic/industrial collaboration in the field of solid state chemistry.

SFI/PCI Pharmachemical Event to be held in UCC

SFI is partnering with PharmaChemical Ireland (PCI) to showcase SFI funded research to the Irish pharmaceutical industry.


Creativity and Innovation for Research

An innovative programme developed by UCC and Pfizer was showcased at the recent Final of the Postgraduate Training Module on Creativity and Innovation for Research.

Research Commercialisation Awards

On 27th April 2010, 3 ABCRF PI's were awarded Research Commercialisation awards.

Prestigious Chinese Government Award for UCC Chemistry Student

Ms Fengjun Shang, a UCC PhD student in Analytical Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Jeremy D. Glennon, Department of Chemistry has received the highly-prestigious Chinese Government Award.

CSA Trust Jacques-Emile Grant awarded to ABCRF PI

Dr. Noel O'Boyle, a HRB Postdoctoral Researcher in the ABCRF, has been awarded the 2010 CSA Trust Jacques-Émile Dubois Grant to present his work at the German Conference in Chemoinformatics in November.

Seminar to mark International Women's Day

A total of 250 students representing eight Cork girls’ secondary schools packed the G01 lecture theatre in Brookfield Health Sciences Complex to celebrate this international event on Monday, March 8th 2010.

Pfizer Bursary launched

Pfizer have announced the launch of a two-year bursary which will facilitate an MSc in Biotechnology Programme at UCC.

Major Research Facility opens at UCC

A major infrastructural investment in Science and Technology was unveiled today (Monday, February 22nd 2010) with the opening of the newly-refurbished Science laboratories at UCC by the Minister for Education and Science, Mr Batt O’Keeffe.

Licence Agreement on Cancer Drug

UCC has signed an IP Licensing agreement with Cork biotech firm, Lee Oncology Ltd, that may lead to the commercial development of potential new cancer drugs following collaboration between the company and UCC's Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility headed by Professor Anita Maguire

Lee Oncology Article - UCC News February 2010 

Click on this Link to download the article from UCC News

Employing PhD Graduates Benefits Irish Enterprise

A new report launched on December 15th 2009 by the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) has found that Irish R&D firms employing PhD researchers have rates of patenting 2.5 times greater than similarly active firms which do not employ PhD researchers and have vastly higher collaboration rates with both Higher Education Institutes and other firms.

HRB Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Dr. Noel O'Boyle, a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the ABCRF, has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Health Research Board.

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”


ABCRF PI to represent Ireland

Dr Stuart Collins, a PI in the ABCRF has been nominated to represent Ireland that this years EuCheMS Organic Division Young Investigator's Workshop

Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules V

The Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules V returns once again to the ABCRF on 14th May 2009 at 10am


UPCRO 2009

SFI UREKA Site UPCRO 2009, now in it's 3rd year, is now taking applications.

Advances in Drugs

Discovery of new drugs to address ongoing medical challenges requires the involvement of interdisciplinary teams of researchers bringing together relevant disciplines in a seamless manner. In the next lecture of the UCC’s Research Highlights Lecture Series on Friday, March 27th 2009, Professor Anita Maguire will discuss how the developments at the Chemistry-Biology interface over the past decade have revolutionised the ways in which new drugs are discovered.

Speech by Batt O'Keeffe, Minister for Education & Science

Speech by Batt O'Keeffe TD, Minister for Education and Science, at the launch of 'Transformations - What Research Is Doing For Ireland' at the Science Gallery, TCD, Dublin

Presentation by Dr Liam Tully, Pfizer PDC 

Download the presentation by Dr Liam Tully

Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium

6th Annual Eli Lilly Postgraduate Research Symposium in Organic & Pharmaceutical Chemistry took place on Thursday 18th September 2008.  The event was once again a great success


Pfizer Process Development Centre (PDC) announces collaboration with UCC's Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility

Pfizer and University College Cork (UCC) have today (Friday, October 31st 2008) announced a joint collaboration involving the installation of a state-of-the-art 400MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer in UCC's Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF).


Name: Dr Sebastien Debarge
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901709
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: S.Debarge@ucc.ie

Dr Sebastien Debarge

Name: Dr Ruslan Dmitriev
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901699
F: 353 (0)21 4274034
E: R.Dmitriev@ucc.ie

Dr Ruslan Dmitriev


Biographical details to follow

Name: Dr Curtis Elcoate
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4902273
F: 353 (0)21 4274097
E: c.elcoate@ucc.ie

Dr Curtis Elcoate

Name: Dr Alan Ford
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901716
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: Alan.Ford@ucc.ie

Dr Alan Ford

Name: Dr Francis Harrington
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901715
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: f.harrington@ucc.ie

Dr Francis Harrington

Name: Dr Marie Kissane
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4903742
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: m.kissane@ucc.ie

Dr Marie Kissane


Details can be found at: Organic & Pharmaceutical Research Team: Marie Kissane

Name: Dr Orla McNamara
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4903742
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: O.McNamara@ucc.ie

Dr Orla McNamara


Details can be found at: Organic & Pharmaceutical Research Team: Orla McNamara 

Name: Dr Niamh O'Connell
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901787
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: n.oconnell2@ucc.ie

Dr Niamh O'Connell

Name: Dr Jean-Marie Prat
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4903131
F: 353 (0)21 4274097
E: j.prat@student.ucc.ie

Dr Jean-Marie Prat


Biographical details to follow

Name: Dr Norma Scully
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901708
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: n.scully@ucc.ie

Dr Norma Scully


Biographical details to follow

Name: Dr Alexander Zhdanov
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901699
F: 353 (0)21 4274034
E: A.Zhdanov@ucc.ie

Dr Alexander Zhdanov


Biographical details to follow

Name: Dr Nuala Maguire
Position: ABCRF Technician
T: 353 (0)21 4901708
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: N.Maguire@ucc.ie

Dr Nuala Maguire


Nuala joined the ABCRF as a research technician in 2007.  As part of her work, Nuala provides support to the postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in Synthetic Organic and Pharmaceutical chemistry, by synthesising starting materials, carrying out preliminary enzyme screens and by supporting HPLC and PXRD analysis, thereby facilitating more rapid progress of the research.

Name: John Luong
Position: Professor
T: 353 (0)21 490
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: J.Luong@ucc.ie

Professor John Luong


Professor John Luong, SFI Walton Fellow joined the ABCRF & Dept of Chemistry in May 2008.

John has been with National Research Council of Canada since 1983. He is Principal Research Officer and Leader of the Biosensors and Nanobiotechnology Group at the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI).

He obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical/Biochemical Engineering from McGill University in 1979, and worked four years as a research engineer for a large Canadian food/specialty chemical company before joining BRI.

He has also acted as visiting professor of Chemical Engineering at McGill University and is currently adjunct professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Name: Dr Nicolas Brondel
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901763
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: N.Brondel@ucc.ie

Dr Nicolas Brondel

Name: Dr Geraldine Claudon
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901706
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: geraldine.claudon@ucc.ie

Dr Geraldine Claudon


Biographical details to follow

Name: Dr David Foley
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901703
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: D.Foley@ucc.ie

Dr David Foley

Name: Dr Andrew Osnowski
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
T: 353 (0)21 4901763
F: 353 (0)21 4901770
E: A.Osnowski@ucc.ie

Dr Andrew Osnowski
Debbie Curran

Now in it's eighth year, the Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules will take place once again in the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility in University College Cork.

This one-day meeting, which has become ever more popular, is a joint RSC/ICI/SOCI event designed to incorporate research from both academia and industry.






According to a previous review, this event was described as "...bringing together scientists from the Republic of Ireland and from Northern Ireland who have varied interests in drug discovery and development and a common interest in synthesis. The 2008 meeting was the fourth in a series and establishes the event as an “essential” date in the Irish calendar."

This year the Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules will take place on Friday 14th June at 10am in the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building - home of the ABCRF.

As always, please fill out the application form from the programme (click link below for application form) in order to secure your place at this event.

Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Timesheets 

All postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers are required to submit monthly timesheets.

Please fill in the attached timesheet on a monthly basis to Debbie Curran, 2.05, Cavanagh Pharmacy Building.

Good News on the Horizon 


Please follow the link to access an article featured in the Irish Times on 28th June 2012. This is a piece by Conor O’Carroll IUA on Horizon 2020 and the ACSTI statement from earlier this year. Prof Anita Maguire, ABCRF, chaired this taskforce.

Profile: State-of-the-art Teaching and Research 

Public Service Review: Science & Technology; November 2010, issue 8 

Location, Location, Location! 
Science Spin article, May 2006, issue 16, 14-15

Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules, Programme & Registration 

Click this link for Programme details

Almac-UCC Symposium Agenda 

Please click on the above PDF for details

10th Eli Lilly Symposium, Agenda & Abstracts  Download the book of abstracts here.

Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility

Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility Cavanagh Pharmacy Building University College Cork College Road, Cork