Dr Sarah Murrison
PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Sarah Murrison

What have you been focusing on during your PhD?

My PhD involved the synthesis of libraries of skeletally diverse molecules, and for that I used two types of cascade reactions. Diverse compounds are valuable tools to be screened for biological activity.

What made you choose to do a PhD?

It really improves your career prospects. Also, I was interested in the project and I really enjoyed chemistry, especially synthetic chemistry and so I wanted to study it further.

What made you choose Leeds?

I was interested in Professor Adam Nelson’s research and so I applied to him. Then when I came down to visit, I liked the place and there was a lot of positive feedback about him as a supervisor and so I thought that it would be good. My PhD was sponsored by AstraZeneca and I wanted to ultimately work in the pharmaceutical industry and so there was an opportunity to have a three month placement with them.

What would say you have enjoyed most within the School itself?

I think that there is a lot of opportunity within the department. So for example in my second year I went to America to do a poster presentation at a conference in Philadelphia and there were also a lot of other opportunities to present at other conferences within the country. It is a very well equipped department and people are very friendly. 

What would you say to other people considering doing a research degree here at Leeds?

It’s tough, it’s not an easy ride but with perseverance you can get through. Leeds is a great place to do a research degree, it’s a very vibrant city with a lot of students and a big student life. The chemistry department has a good reputation and they do a lot of good research and have excellent lecturers and supervisors. I would encourage people to come to Leeds to do their PhD.