Chemistry @ Dal
    Dalhousie University

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Profiles of former Thompson Group Members
 

Brandon Groves, PhD Student

Education: Dalhousie University: Ph.D. Organic Chemistry (Expected graduation, 2017), Thesis Title: "The Synthesis of Prodigiosene-Based Anticancer Reagents and Development of Reactions for Dipyrrin-Based Molecules"; St. Francis Xavier University: B. Sc. Chemistry with First Class Honours (2011), Thesis Title: "Exploration of Chiral Induction in Tetrabenzoate Diruthenium(II,III) Complexes via Chiral Diphosphine Ligands"

Research: My current research interests are broad, and are best described as focused on the chemistry of pyrrole and its extended frameworks (prodigiosenes, dipyrrins and F-BODIPYs). My most recently finalized projects include decarboxylative coupling of mono-pyrroles, manipulation of alpha-methyl substituted dipyrrins, and the synthesis of F-BODIPYs via use of Lawesson's reagent from mono-pyrrolic starting materials. My long-term goals involve training in the field of medicinal chemistry, with the goal of pursuing a career in pharmaceutical development.

Publications
Highly-substituted N-protected pyrroles under Pd-catalysed decarboxylative cross-coupling. Figliola, C; Groves, B. R.; Thompson, A. In Progress.

Reactivity of the 1-methyl functionality of dipyrrins. Groves, B. R; Thompson A. In Progress.

Synthesis and evaluation of folate-conjugated prodigiosenes. Figliola, C.; Marchal, E.; Groves, B. R.; Savoie, H.; Boyle R. W.; Thompson, A. Submitted to Bioconjugate Chem., April 2016.

Thionation reactions of 2-pyrrole carboxylates. Groves, B. R.; Smithen, D. A.; Cameron, T. S.; Thompson, A. RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 69691.

Recent Conference Presentation:
1. Groves, B. R.; Smithen, D. A. Cameron, T.S.; Thompson, A. "Thionation of a-Ester Pyrroles and Application in the Synthesis of F-BODIPYs." 99th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, 2016, Oral Presentation.

2. Groves, B. R.; Thompson, A. "Functionalization of a-Methyl Substituted Dipyrrins." 98th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, 2015, Poster Presentation.

Synthesis and Applications of Dipyrrins
Brandon's Papers, Conference Posters and Presentations

Awards:
Bruce and Dorothy Rossetti Traineeship in Cancer Research: Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, September 2017 - September 2019 ($36,750 per annum).

Postgraduate Scholarship: NSERC, May 2014 - April 2017 ($17,500 per annum).

Level 2 Izaak Walton Killam Predoctoral Scholarship: Killam Trusts, September 2013 - September 2017 ($25,000 per annum).


Fun Facts: In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis with my wife and-old step-daughter, as well as playing pick-up hockey as frequently as possible.
  Luke Burke, Honors Undergraduate Student 
Education: I am going into my fourth year of a B.Sc (Honours in Chemistry) at Dalhousie University.

Research: My previous undergraduate research involved low temperature production of graphite as an anode material for Lithium ion batteries, and my current research is focused on a novel synthesis route for the production of symmetrical and non-symmetrical aza-dipyrrins.

Publication:
M.N. Obrovac, Xiuyun Zhao, L.T. Burke, R.A. Dunlap, Reversible Lithium Insertion in Catalytically Graphitized Sugar Carbon, Electrochem. Commun., 60 (2015), 221-224.

Awards: NSERC USRA 2015, 2016, Kenneth and Dorothy Hayes Memorial Prize and Norbert Wolter Memorial Scholarship

Fun Facts: I enjoy playing hockey and tennis, as well as taking my dog to the lake and lounging on the beach.

Travis Lundrigan, PhD Student

Synthesis and Applications of Dipyrrins
Travis's Papers, Conference Posters and Presentations

Laura Cole, Masters Student
Education: I completed my BSc in chemistry and neuroscience at Dalhousie University.

Research: My current project involves development of high yield synthesis pathways of F-BODIPY in an effort to effectively generate radioactive 18F-BODIPY. Radio labeled BODIPY compounds have potential uses as biomarkers for PET imaging. My previous research as an undergraduate involved developing new anode materials for sodium ion batteries.

Recent Conference Poster:
Na
xVxTi1-XO2 (x = 0.6 - 1.0) Phases for Na-Ion Battery Electrode Materials. R. I. Fielden, L. Cole, M. N. Obrovac. 18th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries.

Awards:
NSERC DREAMS Scholarship
NSERC C-GSM


Fun Fact:
I am an avid reader, and love to work with fibre (spinning, knitting, etc). I also work part time as a primary care paramedic.
  Carlotta Figiola, Post-Doctoral Researcher
Education: I was an undergraduate at the University of Parma in Italy from 2005 to 2010. I gained my Ph.D. in 2014 at the University of Birmingham in the UK with Dr. Richard Grainger.

Research: During my PhD my research was focused was a good mixture of organic and inorganic chemistry, organometallics and electrochemistry. I synthesized two families of mimics of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase enzyme, which produces molecular. In the Thompson group I work with prodigiosenes, which are conjugated to bioactive molecules, and F/C-BODIPYs bearing conjugated and not-conjugated triple bonds on the aromatic skeleton.

Publications:
Figliola, C.; Male, L.; Tsang, C.; Horswell, S. L.; Grainger, R. S. "N-Derivatives of Peri-Substituted Dichalcogenide [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Mimics: Towards Photocatalytic Dyads for Hydrogen Production" Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 3146-3156.

Figliola, C.; Male, L.; Horton, P. N.; Pitak, M. B.; Coles, S. J.; Horswell, S. L.; Grainger, R. S.  "FeFe]-Hydrogenase synthetic mimics based on peri-substituted dichalcogenides", Organometallics 2014, 33, 4449-4460.

Probing the Hydrolytic Reactivity of 2-Difluoromethyl Pyrroles. Melanson, J.A.; Figliola, C.; Smithen, D.A.; Kajetanowicz, A.K.; Thompson, A. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2016, in press.

Recent Conference Presentation:
99th CSC 2016 (Halifax, NS, Canada). "Conjugation of prodigiosenes to bioactive molecules: synthesis and anticancer activity investigation".

Recent Conference Posters:
C. Figliola, A. Thompson, E. Marchal, D. A. Smithen,"Key modifications on prodigiosin synthetic analogues and effects on biological and anticancer activity", Maritime Natural Products Conference 2015, (St John, NB, Canada) (first prize awarded).

C. Figliola, A. Thompson, E. Marchal, D. A. Smithen,"Key modifications on prodigiosin synthetic analogues and effects on biological and anticancer activity", 98th CSC 2015 (Ottawa, ON, Canada).

Fun Fact: I spend my spare time doing circus aerial arts.