Dr Luca Russo – [email protected]   (Chair)

After graduating in inorganic chemistry back home in Naples, I joined Prof. Bill Clegg’s group for a PhD in supramolecular chemistry and single-crystal XRD methods at Newcastle University: I have then been working as a Postdoc for some years in the research groups of Prof. Kari Rissanen (Jyväskylä University, FI) and Prof. Bill Clegg back in Newcastle, before moving on to the more technological side of things, working as XRD application scientist for Rigaku.

I am currently working in the MatSci department of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), supporting pharmaceutical product development through structural characterisation and property modelling of crystalline drug substance and formulations.

Dr Helen Blade[email protected]

I graduated from Liverpool University with a PhD under Prof. Matt Rosseinsky in the field of functional materials, linking the crystal structure of a material to its properties.

As an associate principal scientist (structural science) working in AstraZeneca, Macclesfield since 2008, I have continued to work in this field and have recently been leading the establishment of crystal structure assessment to predict and explain the properties of pharmaceutical materials.

Dr Edd Bilbe –  [email protected]

Edd has worked for Johnson Matthey as part of the pXRD Team at their Technology Centre near Reading for around 11 years. He is interested in mixtures and dissordered materials believing that materials performance is often inversely proportional to their ability to be characterised. Because of this SC-XRD doesn’t feature much but collaberative work includes SS-NMR, DFT, MD, PDF, EPMA, ED, ND and if all else fails EXAFS. Before JM Edd was at the university of Reading for 10 years looking at cellulose/polymers and transition-metal cyanides. Other than that he walks, cycles, cooks and takes photos of nature.

Miss Katy Alexander[email protected] (Treasurer)

I am currently a principal scientist at Pfizer, where I lead a solid form screening and characterisation team.  I utilise a variety of solid-state techniques to explore and understand the solid form landscape of our API’s, starting materials and synthetic intermediates throughout product development.  My main focus is on salt, polymorph, hydrate and early crystallisation screening of these pharmaceutical materials, including the use of automation and high-throughput PXRD.

My early career was in analytical chemistry following an industrial placement at Pfizer as part of my MChem degree at the University of York.  I first moved into pharmaceutical materials science in 2007 and have continued in this field, holding roles in both big pharma and CRO’s.

Dr Anthony Bell – [email protected]

First degree in Chemistry at University of Sheffield 1981-4, in my final year I did a single-crystal research project which got me into crystallography. This helped me get my first job with AEA Technology near Preston (1985-90) when I did X-ray powder diffraction on nuclear and non-nuclear materials.

I then left for academia; I worked at the Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Source 1990-95, where I got a M.Sc. in chemistry from Keele University. I then went up to Cambridge University to be a mature Ph.D. student in chemistry (1995-99). I did postdocs in Montpellier (France), Oxford and Manchester before returning to Daresbury (2005-8) to be a powder diffraction beamline scientist. After the closure of the Daresbury SRS in 2008 I went to Hamburg in Germany (2009-12) to be a powder diffraction beamline scientist on the DORIS synchrotron. I returned to the UK in 2013 and worked as an XRD/SEM experimental officer at Newcastle University 2014-15. In 2015 I returned to Sheffield where I run an XRD/XRF laboratory at Sheffield Hallam University. I have co-supervised 2 Ph.D. students doing research into nuclear waste glass materials. One student has graduated and the other is writing up her thesis. I should get 3 more Ph.D. students later in 2023.

My research interests are powder diffraction, synchrotron radiation and crystal structures of minerals from powder data. I am a chartered member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC. C.Chem).

I joined the BCA in 1985. In 2016, after finally getting a permanent academic job I joined the BCA IG committee. In 2018 I helped to organise the annual BCA IG XRF meeting at Sheffield Hallam University and then I became chair of the BCA IG XRF group in 2019. I will be stepping down as chair of the XRF committee later this year, but I intend to stay on the IG committee.

Dr Natalie Johnson[email protected](Young Crystallographer Representative)

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, working in data integrity.

My main area of research is in the completeness of data within the Cambridge Structural Database – a database of 1 million small-molecule organic and metal organic crystal structures. I also explore ways to identify and investigate any fraudulent or plagiarised data within the database.

Previously, I was a PhD student at Newcastle University, investigating the reproducibility of charge density data refinements.

Joseph Benson – [email protected]

I am currently Solid Form Screening Team Leader within the Material Sciences group at Pharmaron in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, where I oversee the polymorph, salt and cocrystal screening activities on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and intermediates to support early development campaigns. I joined Pharmaron in 2020 and prior to that I was at Cambrex (formerly Solid Form Solutions) in Edinburgh for four years. Previously, I obtained an MSci in Natural Sciences from University of Cambridge, where I did my master’s thesis on the photostability of nifedipine cocrystals in the solid state under the supervision of Prof. Bill Jones.

Dr James Gordon – [email protected]

I have a background in Structural Biology. Obtaining my PhD from the University of Manchester in 2008 and completing postdocs in Tufts University in Boston, The IRB Barcelona and the LMB in Cambridge. I’ve been supporting crystallography in various roles from the commercial sector since 2016. My current role is at Rigaku as regional sales manager for single crystal products covering the UK, Ireland, Nordics, Middle East and Africa. .

Dr Paul O’Meara – [email protected]

I have worked as an XRD Specialist for Malvern Panalytical since 2001 as an X-ray Diffraction Product Technical Specialist. I train and support XRD users in the full range of analytical techniques that a modern diffractometer is capable of. While focused mainly on customers in the UK I have taught in labs all over the world in a diverse range of industrial and academic institutions. Previous to this, I worked as a powder metallurgist and hold a PhD in solid state chemistry from the University of Nottingham.

Dr Jonathan Loughrey[email protected]

Currently Head of Screening for Cambrex Edinburgh (formerly Solid Form Solutions), I oversee the drug substance pre-formulation technical group specialising in screening pharmaceutical agents for novel polymorphs, salts, and co-crystals, and conducting early crystallization and single crystal growth studies to locate a crystalline form of a specific pharmaceutical target. My career started at Abbott B.V. in The Netherlands where I specialised in the quantitative determination of polymorphic forms within drug substance batches, using XRPD, vibrational spectroscopy and chemometrics. I then pursued a Ph.D. in the Halcrow group at the University of Leeds, focussing on investigating the metal-supported redox activity of multivalent bis- and tris-dioxolenes and dithiolenes. Following my Ph.D., I held a number of roles within academia, including the staff crystallographer post at the University of Leeds and a PDRA at University of Arizona where I focussed on the preparation and full structural characterisation of haem degradants and the preparation of organic-supported radical species for redox catalysis.

At Cambrex, my interests lie in understanding the utility and process viability of hydrated forms of active pharmaceutical agents, with a particular interest in chiral species, racemates, and conglomerates.

Dr Christopher Cameron[email protected]

I graduated with an MChem with Honours from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, and then completed a PhD in chemical crystallography under Professor Simon Parsons at the University of Edinburgh in 2014. The main focus of my PhD was the development and utilization of novel high-pressure low-temperature SXRD techniques, with the aim of elucidating structure-property relationships in coordination compounds with interesting properties under these conditions. Following this I undertook a one year postdoctoral position in time-resolved crystallography under Professor Paul Raithby at the University of Bath in 2015. After a short period I moved into the pharmaceutical industry as a solid form scientist with Eurofins in 2018, and then progressed to a senior scientist with Pfizer in 2020. In my current role I utilize a variety of solid-state techniques to explore the solid form landscape of APIs, provide crystallographic expertise to colleagues in order to solve problems or understand outcomes, and develop improvements to our crystallographic methods.

We have plenty of space to get involved, if you’d like to know more please get in touch!  Dr Helen Blade[email protected]