We aim to provide monthly blogs from MSG members on a monthly basis, please come back regularly to learn about our community.

My name is Steve and I’m an NMR Spectroscopist…

posted 28 Jul 2016, 01:39 by Molecular Spectroscopy

In my previous blog entry (see here) I briefly described the role of the Molecular Spectroscopy Group (MSG) and indicated we would follow up with a series of entries from the committee members introducing ourselves – so here we are. I’m Steve, the chairman of the MSG and I’m an NMR Spectroscopist working in the Pharmaceutical industry. My particular interests in NMR are mainly focussed around the elucidation and identification of small molecules and the use of NMR for reaction monitoring. I never thought I’d become an NMR spectroscopist, and really didn’t even know you could earn a living as one (think that page must have been missing in the careers book I looked in as a teenager!). I’ve always loved science and built my interest in Chemistry during my A-levels and subsequent degree, but it wasn’t until doing my PhD in natural product chemistry that I became intimately familiar with the power of NMR and how it can help you out as a chemist. Obviously, as with most natural product chemistry(!) it didn’t go as planned, and rather than spending most of my time doing reactions and modifying potential anti-cancer agents, I spent a lot of time down in the basement, running NMR’s and learning about acronyms like COSY, FLOCK and DEPT. To be honest, the names meant absolutely nothing to me at the time, but I knew that by learning how to “read” the results I was able to figure out what had actually happened in my reaction, rather than what I’d hoped to have happened. As a youngster, I’d always loved doing logic problems and puzzles, and interpreting NMR data just seemed to be another logic problem, where all the answers were there somewhere, you just needed to find out how to figure it out. And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 15+ years ever since. I think I’m incredibly lucky to have found a job doing something I love, which is both mentally stimulating and challenging, and ultimately plays a key part in the development of drugs which help to save and improve patient’s lives.

Come back to our MSG blog next month to find out more about my fellow committee members and their areas of expertise and interests


Our updated blog by MSG chair - Steven Coombes, 29 April 2016

posted 28 Jul 2016, 01:34 by Molecular Spectroscopy

“Knock, knock”

“Who’s there?“

“The interrupting cow”

“The interrupting cow wh......


Well, not the usual start to your science blog, but hopefully it might make you read a little bit more... That by the way is my 6 year old son’s favourite joke at the minute, he told it to the on Saturday morning when he and his 3 year old brother were doing “Science like Daddy” in the shape of a child’s Chemistry kit they got for Christmas. I love the fact that the pair of them are showing signs of an interest in science at such an early age and have to admit I really enjoyed playing with food dye and litmus paper. And I guess it’s the same passion for science and learning that led me to get involved with the RSC Molecular Spectroscopy Group (MSG) several years ago, of which I am now the Chairman.

 The MSG committee is a multidisciplinary group with expertise in NMR, PAT, Vibrational and Ion Mobility Spectroscopies to name but a few techniques and we all have a shared interest in the application of our own disciplines to solving problems, be they in an academic or industrial environment. Although many other interest groups and organisations exist which focus on the fundamentals of some of these disciplines (eg the NMRDGBMSSIRDG etc.), we at the MSG try to cater for those who appreciate that their technique (although clearly superior to all others!) sometimes, maybe, can do with a little help from another technique. Speaking as an NMR spectroscopist myself, I enjoy the “love – hate” relationship I have with my MS colleagues and do occasionally rely on them for minor pieces of information like Molecular Weight or a Molecular Formula. This is one if the reasons why the MSG enjoys hosting multidisciplinary meetings such as “Data to Knowledge”, or the successful “Structure” meetings we have helped to organise with colleagues in the BMSS and NMRDG. We are always on the lookout for new ideas and thoughts about meetings /conferences / symposia we could arrange which address specific problems that may cover a number of different technique areas and are keen to hear from our Group members if there are any subjects you feel worthwhile.

The main aim of the MSG blog is to try and share some of our thoughts and ideas around our own technique areas and certain applications which interest us and hopefully some of you will find it equally as interesting and hopefully contribute yourselves. We plan to start with a series of posts from our committee members covering their own area of expertise so you can get to know us a little better and we’d love to hear from our members to see if there is more we can do as a committee for you.

The blog will be hosted on our MSG website (link here) and we hope you’ll come back for more...


MSG Chairman

New website address!

posted 28 Jul 2010, 01:24 by Molecular Spectroscopy   [ updated 28 Jul 2010, 01:28 ]

We have now registered a new web address for our RSC MSG site - This will link you through to our MSG home page where you will be able to find information about the committee, ongoing activities and forthcoming events.

The new MSG website goes live...

posted 17 Mar 2010, 06:35 by Molecular Spectroscopy

We recently ran a survey of our members and it was clear that better communication was a common theme. As such, we have created a new website for the group to provide clear links and information for our memebers to current and future planned MSG activities as well as external links to useful areas. We hope it comes in useful!!

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