Meldola Medal & Prize 2007 Winner
University of Cambridge, UK
For her work in the coordination-compound-based catalysis of polymerisation, and for the discovery of new cross-linking methodologies and new nanochemistries in the syntheses of dendrimers and polymers.
Rachel O'Reilly delivered her lecture associated with this award at a Dalton Division Award Symposium in Liverpool on 29 January 2009 and also at an awards symposium in Toulouse on 6 February 2009.
About the winner
Rachel O'Reilly is currently a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and a Mays Wild Research Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge.
She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class B.A.(Hons) in Natural Sciences and first class M.Sc.(Hons) in Chemistry in 1999. She then went on to complete her PhD studies at Imperial College, London in 2003 under the supervision of Professor Vernon C. Gibson. In 2003 she moved to the US as a post-doctoral research assistant at the IBM Almaden research centre in San Jose California, under the joint direction of Professors Craig J. Hawker and Karen L. Wooley at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri.
In 2004 she was awarded a Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition for 1851 and moved back to the UK in 2005 to take up her current position. In 2007, she was elected to the chairmanship of the recent appointees in polymer science (RAPS) network and earlier this year was awarded CChem status from the RSC.
Her current research focuses on bridging the interface between creative synthetic, polymer and catalysis chemistry, to allow for the development of materials that are of interest in medical, materials and nanoscience applications.
In early 2009 she will be moving to the University of Warwick with the recent award of a career acceleration fellowship from the EPSRC.