2019 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize Winner


Dr Matthew Powner

Dr Matthew Powner

University College London

 

Awarded for pioneering investigations into prebiotic synthesis, which illuminate key conceptual steps in the origin of life.

 


About the Winner


Matthew Powner was born in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire in 1981. He obtained a first class master's degree in chemistry at the University of Manchester (2005), where he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry prize, the Degussa award, the Sigma-Aldrich prize, the Glaxo prize, the Eric Braithwaite prize, the Swan prize and the Merck Sharp & Dohme award. He then completed a medicinal chemistry internship at AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, before returning to Manchester to complete his PhD (2009) and a short EPSRC Doctoral Prize post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. John Sutherland FRS. In 2009 he was awarded a Harvard Research Fellowship to work with Nobel Laureate Prof. Jack Szostak at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

He returned to the UK in 2011, joining UCL as a Lecturer in the Chemistry Department, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry and an Investigator of the Simons Foundation Collaboration on the Origins of Life. His research interests centre around chemistry associated with the origin of life and, along with his research group, has made contributions in the areas of nucleic acid and amino acid chemistry, protometabolic networks, ribozymes, lipids, crystal engineering, green chemistry, catalysis and photochemistry.

Dr Powner has been awarded various prizes and fellowships in recognition of his research, including the ISSOL Stanley Miller Award (2011), the SET for Britain Roscoe Medal (2012), 1st prize in the Origins of Life Challenge (2012; jointly with Prof. John Sutherland), an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship (2013), a Bu?rgenstock JPS Fellowship (2015), the Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2015), a Center for Advanced Studies Fellowship (2016) and the RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize (2019).


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University College London


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