Picture of the Week

LUX dark matter detector

Detecting dark matter

The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch – whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a quarter is dark matter, which is totally invisible but whose gravitational attraction can be detected; while over two thirds is dark energy, a force that pushes the Universe to expand ever faster.

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Student Case study - Andreas Ehnbom


During the Summer of 2010, Andreas Ehnbom carried out a two month summer placement in the laboratory of Dr Graeme Hogarth, in the Department of Chemistry, UCL. During this time he investigated potential antimalarial agents, a project that spanned over the field of both organic and inorganic chemistry.

The aim of this project was to target new metal based antimalarial drugs, essentially to couple transition metals to an organic structure known to give an antimalarial effect, to alter its properties and obtain interesting antimalarial features. Various chloroquine-derivative d-block metal complexes were synthesized, and some of them will be further modified, and then tested in vitro.

While working with Dr Hogarth, Andreas learned to use a variety of chemical equipment, was able to synthesise new compounds, and truly experienced the research atmosphere. In addition, he faced problems in the project which needed to be solved. Together with his supervisor, he could overcome many of these challenges.

“I wanted to do research at UCL in the hope of experience a new and inspiring research atmosphere. Of course, the high international reputation of UCL's chemistry department made the decision easy. In addition, I have always wanted to study abroad due to often high academic standards at especially UK-based universities. I hoped it would be a great stepping-stone to familiarize oneself to an abroad academic environment, and to meet new interesting persons. Additionally, I was very keen on experience the British culture, as I previously to the stay had never visited the UK.

The time at UCL was a true challenge and I am very glad to have been there. I met many great minds and developed not only my chemical knowledge, but also got to know great persons, experience a different culture, and got to taste a wonderful research atmosphere.”

Andreas Ehnbom, Lund University, Sweden

The work was finalized with an oral presentation, which also provided Andreas with practise in presenting research in an understandable way for a wide audience.

Page last modified on 11 feb 14 09:56