University of Lincoln, UK

Scientific thinkers come together at pan-European Crystallize meeting

Scientific thinkers from around Europe will come together for the annual meeting of COST Crystallize. This year the crystallisation-focused meeting is taking place at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

Crystallisation – the process of crystal formation via crystal nucleation and growth – is typically employed in chemical manufacturing as a purification step or to isolate a final product and determine its quality. Despite its widespread uses, understanding the precise molecular mechanisms which occur during crystallisation remains a scientific challenge, particularly for organic compounds.

The Crystallize research network, led by Dr Simon Lawrence of the University of Cork and funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), brings together leaders in the field to develop new ideas, research and share knowledge in the science of crystallisation, covering solution, nucleation, growth and applications within crystal engineering.

The annual meeting of the Crystallize COST Action CM1402 group, involving scientists from 27 different countries, will take place on Monday 26th – Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool Campus.

It will be the first scientific conference to be held in the University’s new £28million Isaac Newton Building, which is now home to the University’s Schools of Mathematics and Physics, Computer Science, and Engineering, and is a hub of teaching and learning, pioneering research, and industry collaboration.

The local organisation of the conference will be led by Professor Nick Blagden from the University of Lincoln’s School of Pharmacy and Dr Bart Vorselaars from the School of Mathematics and Physics at Lincoln.

Professor Blagden, who leads a Crystal Growth working group within the COST Action, said: “We are very privileged to host the annual meeting of the Crystallize COST Action CM1402 group in Lincoln, with the organisation being a joint effort between Schools of Pharmacy, Chemistry, and Mathematics and Physics. The research network, which unites scientists from countries across Europe, is primarily focused on molecular materials. The study of interdisciplinary materials is at the heart of STEM-based research at the University of Lincoln so we are looking forward to welcoming our fellow researchers onto campus to discuss our work and progress valuable collaborations.

The scientists involved in the Crystallize research network are working together to increase academic and industrial understanding of the structure and function of crystals in order to custom-design new materials for specific applications, such as pharmaceuticals.

Dr Bart Vorselaars added: “Crystallisation happens all around us – just think of snow and diamonds! Even inside the human body crystallisation is happening; an example is during the formation of your teeth. The process is also highly relevant to man-made materials such as medicines, polymer plastics and computer chips. Understanding crystallisation can help us to develop novel ways of designing more advanced materials, with properties that we have not yet encountered.”

For more information, visit the conference website: crystallizelincoln2017.org.

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