ChemNEWS editor, Professor Scott Kable, talks to David Flynn (pictured below) about his Honours year.
When did you become interested in chemistry?
I was somewhat unaware about what I wanted to do with my future when I left school. I had started studying chemistry in Year 10 on the suggestion of my science teacher, not thinking much of it at the time. However by the time I left school I knew I wanted to do something involving Science. Science is fascinating as it is continually expanding and changing. It is a diverse and multi-faceted area of our knowledge that allows us, through logic and evidence, to deduce conclusions and use these to help provide solutions to our modern-day problems.
Moreover, Science is becoming increasing relevant in our everyday world. Society looks towards research in order to cure diseases, create sustainable energy sources and create solution to alleviate the effects of global warming. This was something that I not only wanted to learn about, but something that I wanted to be a part of.
Studying chemistry at Sydney University for the past four years has been an enriching and wholly satisfying experience. It has taught me to logically view problems and systematically apply my knowledge to overcome obstacles. These are not lessons applied in chemistry alone, but also in the wider context of my University life. Having reached my Honours year, I know that studying chemistry was the correct choice for me and I have done immeasurable more than I ever thought I would be able to do in these few years.
Why did you decide to come to the University of Sydney?
Choosing Sydney University was never a big issue for me. I had known that I wanted to study here ever since I first visited the campus with my sister when I was 14 years old. The name and prestige of the University were definitely driving factors towards my enrollment. Visiting Sydney University Open Day and witnessing the research and level of teaching available to students cemented my desire to study here. On top of the world-class research that the University provides, the countless opportunities to get involved and be apart of campus life made the decision one of the easiest of my academic career.
What made you decide to do Honors in Chemistry? What kind of research are you doing?
Throughout my chemistry degree it became increasing clear that I enjoyed the organic and inorganic areas of chemistry and was able to see their real-world applications. Mid way through my third year, I decided that I would like to undertake an Honours year in order to get hands-on scientific experience while also contributing to scientific research. Many of my friends in older years had often told me of the importance of their honors year and the incredible experiences that came from it.
I chose to undertake a combined organic/inorganic research project that looked at synthesizing cobalt-based anti-cancer prodrugs and attaching a glucose molecule to the complex. The glucose molecule was attached in order to facilitate their selective uptake into tumors, specifically into hypoxic regions that are otherwise difficult to penetrate. The project is interesting and mentally stimulating and I am really enjoying the year thus far!
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