Past group members

Adam Town

Adam Town

Adam graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2014 with a 1st class masters degree in Chemistry. For his undergrad project he worked in the group of Prof. Steve Rannard. This involved using controlled radical polymerisation techniques such as ATRP and RAFT in the synthesis of novel polymeric material, leading to a publication of the work.

He also contributes to the department in other ways. For example taking a lead role in setting up a successful peer assisted learning scheme for first year students, and creating a virtual learning environment to aid students and assess their understanding of the maths skills they require for Chemistry. He now helps run the Chemistry society and is keen to increase its scope and success.

Adam has joined the McDonald group to study for his PhD, with a focus on nanomedicine drug delivery systems. So far he enjoys the broad scope of the work, which bridges Polymer Science with Pharmacology, and being able to contribute to the future health of society with his research.

Mona Omir

Mona photo

Mona graduated with an MSc. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen in 2013. Her research during her masters was in the field of cancer and investigated structure activity relationship (SAR) of heterocyclic compounds to design potential and selective inhibitors for Jumonji C (JmjC)-domain-containing protein (JMJD2C). Mona is joint supervised between the McDonald and Rannard groups, where she is studying solid lipid nanoparticles and synthesis of polymeric materials for use in drug delivery systems for treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Mark Prestly (2015-2016)


Mark graduated in 2008 with an MSci degree in “Chemistry with Industrial Experience” which gave him the opportunity to work as a medicinal chemist at OSI Prosidion in Oxford for 1 year and work with Prof. Pavel Kocovsky at the University of Glasgow on the creation of new recoverable organocatalysts for the asymmetric hydrosilylation of imines.

Between 2008 and 2012, Mark worked towards obtaining his PhD at the University of Birmingham with Prof. Nigel Simpkins. He worked on the use of chiral lithium amide bases for the asymmetric deprotonation of prochiral ketones and imides. In addition, he carried out work towards the asymmetric total synthesis of the natural product Concavine.

Before starting work in the McDonald group, Mark worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for Profs. Andy Cooper and Matt Rosseinsky between 2013 and 2015. He carried out the organic synthesis of linkers for metal organic frameworks and the synthesis of intermediates for covalent organic cages.

Mark worked on synthesising implantable drug delivery systems for the controlled release of nanomedicines.

Craig Wilson (2014-2015)

After carrying out his year 3 project under the supervision of Dr Dave Adams focusing on creating polymer networks for carbon dioxide capturing, Craig is currently undertaking his final year project in the group. His research focuses upon creating porous carriers for use in controlled drug delivery.  He currently enjoys the mix between synthesis and analysis of such materials produced. After his MChem Project Craig went on to do a PhD with Prof Dave Adams.