Dr Alice Williamson

Lecturer in Chemical Education and Outreach

F11 - Chemistry Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 61 2 8627 0823
Fax 61 2 9351 3329

Website Open Source Malaria
alicewilliamson.net
Breaking Good

Biographical details

Dr Alice E Williamson is a chemist and science communicator based at The University of Sydney. Her research focuses on open science and Science Communication, Outreach, Participation and Education (SCOPE). Finding ways to connect people with science and to make research more accessible is the overarching theme of Alice’s interdisciplinary research.

Alice is the founder of the Breaking Good project – a citizen science project that aims to empower high school and undergraduate students to be active researchers in projects that will improve human health. In 2016, students working as part of the Breaking Good pilot project recreated the price-hiked medicine Daraprim for just a few dollars, sparking an international conversation about access to medicine and demonstrating the impact that students can have when they are involved in real research.

Originally from the North West of England, Alice completed her PhD at The University of Cambridge, where she worked with colleagues to develop two new chemical reactions. Alice moved to Australia to take up a position as the principal synthetic chemist for OSM, who are pioneering an open source drug discovery project and are trying to prove that science is better and more efficient when all data and results are shared. The team do not patent any of their findings; instead they publish all of their work online in real time so that anyone can access their research.

Alice is recognised as a leading international science communicator. In 2015, she was named as one of ABC RN and UNSW's Top 5 Under 40 in recognition of her passion for sharing science stories. She was the RACI Nyholm Lecturer for 2017/18 and a finalist in the 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science. Alice is the co-host of the ABC Science podcast, Dear Science, and has been the host of a weekly science slot on FBi Radio's breakfast show since June 2015.



Teaching and supervision

Special Studies Program within the School of Chemistry CHEM1991 and CHEM1992 and CHEM1012.

Unit Coordinator and lecturer for Communication in STEM (OLET1605).

Current research students

Project title Research student
STEM undergraduates: Attitudes and motivations for studying STEM courses and pursuing a STEM career. Dimitris KARIS

Awards and honours

Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Nyholm Youth Lectureship, 2017/18

AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, Finalist 2017

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Early Career Teaching, The University of Sydney, 2016

Hitachi Social Innovation Award, 2016

FBi Radio, Best Segment Award 2016

ABC RN and UNSW'sTop 5 Under 40Winner, 2015

In the media

We need to open up science to everyone, Ockham's Razor, Radio National, 23rd September 2018

Daraprim Synthesis, various international outlets, Nov/Dec 2016

Reddit AMA, Open Source Drug Discovery, 5th October 2016

Making drug development less secretive could lead to quicker, cheaper therapies, The Conversation, 14th September, 2016

The see-through scientists, Horizons Magazine, Swiss National Science Foundation, 9th September 2016

Going for...green? Why Rio's swimming pools are changing colour, The Conversation, 11th Aug 2016

Open source removes secrecy in drug discovery, The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 7th May 2016

Furniture design's loss, chemistry's gain, The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 22nd August 2015

Selected grants

2018

  • Biomolecular Design Competition (BIOMOD) 2018; Daljit Singh J, Wickham S, Williamson A; NSW Department of Industry/Science and Engineering Student Competition Sponsorship Program.

2017

  • STEM Communications (Open Learning Environment - Undergraduate); Gordon T, Williamson A, O'Byrne J, Oakley C, Hurst J, Sharma M; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

2016

  • Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2016; Todd M, Williamson A; Hitachi Australia Pty Ltd/Social Innovation Award.

2015

  • Open Research in the Undergraduate Laboratory; Williamson A, Rendina L, Todd M, O'Byrne J, Rutledge P; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2012). Oxidative dearomatization and organocatalytic desymmetrization. In Mathias Christmann and Stefan Brase (Eds.), Asymmetric Synthesis II: More Methods and Applications, (pp. 383-390). Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH. [More Information]

Journals

  • Williamson, A., Ylioja, P., Robertson, M., Antonova-Koch, Y., Avery, V., Baell, J., Batchu, H., Batra, S., Burrows, J., Bhattacharyya, S., Dean, M., Hungerford, Z., Tarnowski, M., Turner, P., White, L., Todd, M., et al (2016). Open Source Drug Discovery: Highly Potent Antimalarial Compounds Derived from the Tres Cantos Arylpyrroles. ACS Central Science, 2(10), 687-701. [More Information]
  • Williamson, A., Ngouansavanh, T., Pace, R., Allen, A., Cuthbertson, J., Gaunt, M. (2016). Rapid generation of complex molecular architectures by a catalytic enantioselective dearomatization strategy. Synlett, 27(1), 116-120. [More Information]
  • Smith, C., Todd, M., Patiny, L., Swain, C., Southan, C., Williamson, A., Clark, A. (2016). SCINDR - The SCience INtroDuction Robot that will Connect Open Scientists. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 2, 1-9. [More Information]
  • Badiola, K., Bird, C., Brocklesby, W., Casson, J., Chapman, R., Coles, S., Cronshaw, J., Fisher, A., Frey, J., Gloria, D., Quinnell, R., Robertson, M., Robins, M., Todd, M., Williamson, A., Ylioja, P., et al (2015). Experiences with a researcher-centric ELN. Chemical Science, 6(3), 1614-1629. [More Information]
  • Robertson, M., Ylioja, P., Williamson, A., Woelfle, M., Robins, M., Badiola, K., Willis, P., Olliaro, P., Wells, T., Todd, M. (2014). Open source drug discovery - A limited tutorial. Parasitology, 141(1), 148-157. [More Information]
  • Bigot, A., Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2011). Copper-catalyzed asymmetric α-arylation of N-acyloxazolidinones. Synfacts, (12), 1314-1314. [More Information]
  • Bigot, A., Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2011). Enantioselective a-Arylation of N-Acyloxazolidinones with Copper(II)-bisoxazoline Catalysts and Diaryliodonium Salts. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(35), 13778-13781. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Todd, M., Wells, T., Willis, P., Olliaro, P., Avery, V., Ralph, S., Gamo, J., Charman, S., Ylioja, P., Robertson, M., Williamson, A., et al (2013). Open source drug discovery for malaria. 8th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health and 5th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology, Europe: John Wiley & Sons.

2016

  • Williamson, A., Ylioja, P., Robertson, M., Antonova-Koch, Y., Avery, V., Baell, J., Batchu, H., Batra, S., Burrows, J., Bhattacharyya, S., Dean, M., Hungerford, Z., Tarnowski, M., Turner, P., White, L., Todd, M., et al (2016). Open Source Drug Discovery: Highly Potent Antimalarial Compounds Derived from the Tres Cantos Arylpyrroles. ACS Central Science, 2(10), 687-701. [More Information]
  • Williamson, A., Ngouansavanh, T., Pace, R., Allen, A., Cuthbertson, J., Gaunt, M. (2016). Rapid generation of complex molecular architectures by a catalytic enantioselective dearomatization strategy. Synlett, 27(1), 116-120. [More Information]
  • Smith, C., Todd, M., Patiny, L., Swain, C., Southan, C., Williamson, A., Clark, A. (2016). SCINDR - The SCience INtroDuction Robot that will Connect Open Scientists. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 2, 1-9. [More Information]

2015

  • Badiola, K., Bird, C., Brocklesby, W., Casson, J., Chapman, R., Coles, S., Cronshaw, J., Fisher, A., Frey, J., Gloria, D., Quinnell, R., Robertson, M., Robins, M., Todd, M., Williamson, A., Ylioja, P., et al (2015). Experiences with a researcher-centric ELN. Chemical Science, 6(3), 1614-1629. [More Information]

2014

  • Robertson, M., Ylioja, P., Williamson, A., Woelfle, M., Robins, M., Badiola, K., Willis, P., Olliaro, P., Wells, T., Todd, M. (2014). Open source drug discovery - A limited tutorial. Parasitology, 141(1), 148-157. [More Information]

2013

  • Todd, M., Wells, T., Willis, P., Olliaro, P., Avery, V., Ralph, S., Gamo, J., Charman, S., Ylioja, P., Robertson, M., Williamson, A., et al (2013). Open source drug discovery for malaria. 8th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health and 5th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology, Europe: John Wiley & Sons.

2012

  • Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2012). Oxidative dearomatization and organocatalytic desymmetrization. In Mathias Christmann and Stefan Brase (Eds.), Asymmetric Synthesis II: More Methods and Applications, (pp. 383-390). Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH. [More Information]

2011

  • Bigot, A., Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2011). Copper-catalyzed asymmetric α-arylation of N-acyloxazolidinones. Synfacts, (12), 1314-1314. [More Information]
  • Bigot, A., Williamson, A., Gaunt, M. (2011). Enantioselective a-Arylation of N-Acyloxazolidinones with Copper(II)-bisoxazoline Catalysts and Diaryliodonium Salts. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(35), 13778-13781. [More Information]

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