April 08, 2009

Open Charity Abseil!!

All the details are now released for this year's Pinnacle Challenge Open Charity Fundraising Abseil

The idea is that no matter what Charity you support, you raise some money for them and come along on the day to abseil. If you don't have a charity you regularly support, the chosen charity of the year is Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance who will happily have your support.

You don't need to have ever abseiled before, all equipment is provided on the day along with good on the spot training. The important thing is to have fun and abseil on a local landmark!

Google Maps

Here's the hotel on googlemaps so you can have a look

You can get an application form HERE

And the important thing is, as soon as you're registered you talk to your charity to get hold of a sponsorship form and start collecting sponsorship money!

FAQ's on the whole thing are answered HERE if you have any questions. If you want to chat to someone who works on these abseils regularly and has done a lot of them herself, you can reach me at k.casey-green@warwick.ac.uk or in room C414 in the chemistry block.


August 13, 2008

Feather Graphics

Writing about web page http://feathergraphics.co.uk

My mum's website is finally off the ground and looking shiny.

feathergraphics.co.uk, please go have a look.

My mum is a textile and print artist. Unfortunately the 'textile' bit means there are pictures of me in there modling her many amazing silks and velvets. Good for her, bad for me.

Anyway, between us there's a lot of work gone into this website. I'd love to know what you think, and if you can find any hitches or kinks I'd really appreciate a heads up.

April 03, 2008

Cardiovascular Disease research (focus: Statins and Glitazones)


LDL binds to endothelial cells and can be oxidised by free radicals generated by 'activated' endothelial cells to a lipid peroxide which can destroy the receptor needed for normal receptor-mediated removal of LDL from the plasma.

This modified LDL is taken up by scavenger receptors on macrophages (initiating atherosclerosis).

Lipoprotein (α) contains a unique apoprotein apo (α) which competes with and inhibits plasminogen. Plasminogen (+ plasminogen activator) generates the fibrinolytic enzyme - plasmin. It can also activate platelets (a thrombogenic effect)

Lipoproteins are classified into: High density lipoprotein, Low density lipoprotein, very low density lipoprotein and chylomicrons.


Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, and affect circulating cholesterol concentrations (lipoprotein metabolism)


HMG-CoA is converted to mevalonate (which is later converted into cholesterol) via an intermediate which is imatated in the active form of the statin drug molecule. The drug molecule competitively binds the enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that does this transformation and therefore inhibits production of cholesterol.

HMG-CoA reductase is subject to feedback inhibition by diatry cholesterol, which supresses the synthesis of HMG-CoA synthase, HMG-CoA reductase and LDL receptors by binding to the DNA sequence of the promoter for the genes for all three of these products.

Lovastatin reduces cholesterol levels intracellularly, which increases production of all three. Increase in synthase and reductase are offset by the increase in LDL receptors on the cells.

The drug molecules are subject to extensive presystemic metabolism. Act in the liver 

Overall: Decrease in cholesterol synthesis leads to an increase in synthesis of LDL receptors (removing LDL from the plasma)

Also reduce the hepatic production of VLDL, and therefore reduce plasma triglycerides and show a small increase in HDL cholesterol


PPAR (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor) transcription factors (αβγ) regulate gene expression of enzymes associated with lipid and glucose homeostasis and also promote the genesis of adipose tissue. PPAR (γ) is expressed preferably in fat cells and synergises with another transcription factor (C/EBPα) to convert precursor cells to fat ce1lls.

Thiazoladinediones bind to and activate PPAR (γ), allowing it to interacti with the retmoid X receptor, enhancing gene expression in areas controlling adipocyte differentiation, leading them to take up more fatty acids from the blood. Reduced availability of fatty acids to muscle improves insulin sensitivity. They 'enhance the response of tissue to insulin'.

They enhance glucose utilisation in peripheral tissues, especially adipocytes, and may also suppress gluconeogenesis in the liver by inhibition of the enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase.

Other effects:

+ can improve diabetic dyslipidaemia, decrease plasma triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol (through lipolysis of VLDL),

- increase plasma LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein, obeisity through fat cell differentiation, fluid retention


Pharmacology, Rand et al. 4th Ed. Churchill Livingstone, 1999

Medical Pharmacology and Therapeurics, Waller et al. WB Saunders, 2001

Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Action, Coulson et al. 2nd Ed. Taylor & Francis, 1995

March 25, 2008

Chem Synth Lecture 12/3/08


Classical Radical Cyclisation

lecture 7


Endo vs. exo determined by Baldwin's Rules

Stoichiometric in Bu3SnH, involves loss of functionality, toxic reagents, purification issues (Sn), expensive 

Atom Transfer Cyclisation

lecture 8

30mol% CuCl, MeCN, 140degC (sealed container as above the boiling point of the solvent) 

Allows functional groups in final product, only 30mol% required (better than stoichiometric)

Addition of a ligand (bipy), temperature drops to 110degC, 12 hours

The ligand solubalises the copper

To create a second generation catalyst for use, the synthesis of the catalyst must be simple, and the reaction must be fast and easy

lecture 9

1hour, room temperature

Curiously, solution vs solid support give different stereochemistries 

By moving the double bond by one carbon a Radical Polar Crossover Reaction can be initiated, stabilised by the closer double bond

lecture 10

Where the hydrogen for the formation of the final double bond can come from one of two positions

Other work - Polymer and composite materials from plant matter in renewable plastics manufacture



Work done into Organometallic complexes of Nobel Gases

TM alkane and nobel gas complexes in solution at room temperature

allows NMR work, determination of the activation perameters for the reaction of such transient species with CO

CpRe(CO)2Xe, CpRe(CO)2PF3, CpRe(CO)PF3Xe

By fluoroine NMR

Shows real bond strengths (ie, truely bonded to metal). The covalent Xe bond discovered (by F-Xe coupling) completely outside the known ppm for complexed Xe (-6100ppm) 

February 27, 2008


Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/research/chemicalbiology/

As a brief introduction, the aim of this blog is to record information from seminars and group meetings relevent to further study, research or interest.

Hopefully this will enable me to fix ideas and learning points from these sessions in my mind a little easier, have some reference beside hand-written notes to refer back to, and to share anything that might be relevent with the group, cluster or wider academic community.

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