Past Talks

Are Pigeons Smarter than Mathematicians? 

Tue06
Oct

18:15

Are Pigeons Smarter than Mathematicians? 

Dr Anna Roffey 
18:15, Tuesday 6 October 2020

 

The story of a counterintuitive maths problem solved by a female polymath in the face of overwhelming opposition. With a little help from active learning we will also solve this problem, which stumped some of the best minds in mathematics, but not the humble pigeon… 

Link to the talk will be on our Moodle Page - See you then!

Artificial cells on a chip for drug discovery

Tue13
Oct

18:15

Artificial cells on a chip for drug discovery

Dr Katherine Elvira
18:15, Tuesday 13 October 2020

Lecture given by Dr Katherine Elvira

Dr Elvira is the Canada Research Chair in New Materials and Techniques for Health Applications, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Victoria, Canada. Her group builds artificial cells and tissues from the bottom up using lab-on-a-chip (microfluidic) technologies. They aim to use these in vitro models to better understand how drugs behave in humans.

Link to the talk is available on our Moodle page - See you then!

Discovering the Phase 1 candidate CCT289346/BOS172722 for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer. 

Tue20
Oct

18:15

Discovering the Phase 1 candidate CCT289346/BOS172722 for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer. 

Dr Swen Hoelder 
18:15, Tuesday 20 October 2020

 

Treating cancer remains a huge scientific challenge despite significant progress in the last decades. Treatment options for many cancer types are very limited and is some cases no effective treatments are available resulting in poor prognosis for these patients. In this seminar, I will briefly summarise why cancer is so difficult to treat. I will then describe a drug discovery project that has been going on at The Institute of Cancer Research. The aim of this project was to discover small molecule inhibitors of the mitotic kinase MPS1 as a new treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is significant fraction of all breast cancers. It is characterised by a significantly worse prognosis than other breast cancers types and remains an area of unmet medical need. I will give an over of the MPS1project from its inception to the discovery of our clinical candidate BOS172722 that is currently undergoing phase I clinical trials. A particular emphasis will be on the medicinal chemistry aspects of the project conducted in my research team. 

Link to the talk will be on our Moodle Page - See you then!

The Inbetweeners – Methods beyond Born-Type models in Photoelectron Holography  

Tue27
Oct

18:15

The Inbetweeners – Methods beyond Born-Type models in Photoelectron Holography  

Abbie Bray  
18:15, Tuesday 27 October 2020

Similarly, to light holography, ultrafast photoelectron holography makes use of a probe and a reference wave to reconstruct a target using phase differences. This makes use of the fact that different pathways for an electron in a strong laser field may be associated with specific interference patterns.  Typically, the reference is a direct pathway and the probe is associated to a laser-induced rescattering process.  If traditional orbit-based approaches are employed, such as the strong-field approximation, for linearly polarized fields rescattering will occur near and on the polarization axis. This will make it detrimental for probing targets whose geometry is oriented perpendicular to the field.  In the present contribution, we employ a novel approach which goes beyond that and takes into account the residual binding potential and the external laser field on equal footing: The Coulomb Quantum Orbit Strong-Field Approximation (CQSFA). 

By studying a variety of atomic species prepared in excited states of different geometries, we show that, due to the presence of the Coulomb potential, rescattering will no longer be confined to this axis, which makes it possible to probe orbitals whose polarization is perpendicular to that of the field.  We also identify the main types of orbits responsible for a non-vanishing photoelectron signal within the CQSFA and initial momentum distributions of the instances of tunnelling and re-scattering as well as assess the orbits geometries. We further probe the interplay between the driving field and the binding potential by modifying parameters such as the field intensity and the binding energy. 

Link to the talk will be on our Moodle Page - See you then!

Diamonds- More Than Just A Girl’s Best Friend?

Tue17
Nov

18:15

Diamonds- More Than Just A Girl’s Best Friend?

Professor Katherine Holt
18:15, Tuesday 17 November 2020

Lecture by UCL's very own Professor Katherine Holt!
A whirl-wind tour around diamond's many forms: from gemstone to space dust, high-tech coating to drug-delivery, maybe even a catalyst?
You won't want to miss this talk!

Link: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/91892562935?pwd=dTg5L1ZSZmZrVUwya3JncFJvbVl1Zz09

Artificial Intelligence in Video Games: Past, Present and Future 

Tue24
Nov

18:15

Artificial Intelligence in Video Games: Past, Present and Future 

Dr Tommy Thompson 
18:15, Tuesday 24 November 2020

The term "Artificial intelligence" has become increasingly ubiquitous with gains and changes in technology, although it's rare we know how that actually works.  One of the most prominent areas that AI is applied but is often misunderstood is video games.  In fact, the video games industry has a variety of bespoke AI tools and methodologies designed to support the unique challenges faced in creating vast game worlds and interesting non-player characters.  But in more recent years innovations in deep learning and machine are having a significant impact on numerous industries.  But how can it prove useful for games?  In this talk we're going to look at how AI has traditionally been operated within video games, how machine learning has previously struggled to make gains in the games industry and the new risks and opportunities for AI that are emerging as games are made and played all over the world.    

Link to the talk will be on our Moodle Page - See you then!

Incarceration changes behaviour, for molecules too 

Wed25
Nov

13:00

Incarceration changes behaviour, for molecules too 

Professor Jonathan Nitschke
13:00, Wednesday 25 November 2020

Lunchtime talk by Professor Jonathan Nitschke (13:00 UK time)

Large, hollow molecules can swallow smaller ones. The swallowed (encapsulated) molecule may be prevented from reacting in a way that it otherwise might, or it may be transformed by its experience on the inside. The encapsulating molecule may also transport its passenger far from 'home', allowing chemical separations and purifications to happen in new ways. Research in the Nitschke group has enabled many new molecular containers to be prepared through the self-assembly of small building blocks around metal ions to give larger polyhedral structures with inner cavities. We'll talk about some of these, and some of the uses to which we've put them recently. 

Lapis Lazuli – Medieval Materials Processing 

Tue01
Dec

18:15

Lapis Lazuli – Medieval Materials Processing 

Dr Spike Bucklow
18:15, Tuesday 1 December 2020

The talk will consider a process of mineral separation that was documented across Europe for over 1,000 years that reliably created a blue colour for artists and a widely used drug. It will post-rationalize the identity of recipe ingredients and procedural details in terms of the available – mainly Aristotelian – theories about the physical world. It will briefly consider the material’s importance to industrial chemistry in the nineteenth century and the recipe’s afterlife in modern chemical engineering. It will be offered as a case study that questions relationships between theories and practices and between C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’. 

Link to the talk will be on our Moodle Page - See you then!

Illuminating Materials: The Materials Science of Light Emitting Diodes 

Tue08
Dec

18:15

Illuminating Materials: The Materials Science of Light Emitting Diodes 

Professor Rachel Oliver 
18:15, Tuesday 8 December 2020

About a quarter of the electricity generated worldwide is used for lighting.  Energy efficient light bulbs based on light emitting diodes (LEDs) are about five times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and hence have the potential to allow enormous energy savings.  The key material used in LEDs which emit white light is gallium nitride, a human-made compound, which has never been observed to occur in nature.  Optimising this new material to make LEDs which are efficient, long-lived and reasonably affordable has been a huge challenge, and despite the undoubted commercial success of these devices many aspects of their operation remain mysterious.  This lecture will explain how we can take LEDs apart, literally atom by atom, to understand their structure and how this controls their properties.  The relevant techniques emerged from traditional metallurgy, but are now being used to understand materials for cutting edge optoelectronic devices, illustrating how the basic principles of materials science are vital to the development of the technologies of tomorrow. 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/illuminating-materials-the-materials-science-of-leds-tickets-131624256695

 

Sponges for mitigating environmental and health impacts of polluted water

Wed09
Dec

13:00

Sponges for mitigating environmental and health impacts of polluted water

Dr Pavani Cherukupally
13:00, Wednesday 9 December 2020

According to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, there is a need for affordable, sustainable technologies to combat global water, environmental, and public health challenges. For example, the international oil industry produces over 100 billion liters of oil contaminated wastewater annually. The residual crude oil in these effluents is hazardous to the environment and valuable crude oil loss. On the other hand, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are estimated to cause 10 million deaths and $100 trillion in medical costs per year by 2050. In this talk, I will discuss a new sponge-based adsorption technology used to reclaim oily wastewater, reuse sponges, and recover residual crude oil from wastewater to improve circular economy metrics in the oil industry. Also, I will discuss sponges’ design for removing and killing bacteria in the water to provide safe water in medium- and low-income countries like Rwanda. Due to the excellent performance and cost-efficacy, the sponges could contribute to reforming water policies and accessible to people across the world.

Check out the eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sponges-for-mitigating-environmental-and-health-impacts-of-polluted-water-tickets-131623055101