Thursday, 8 September 2016

Dr Patricia Wright awarded prestigious PhD prize

I was surprised and delighted to find a couple of weeks ago that I had been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Prize 2016 for the best postgraduate research at the University of Greenwich.

My programme of research was Understanding MS/MS Fragmentation of Small Molecular Weight Molecules. I proved the hypothesis that protonation altered the conformation of molecules such that some bonds were weakened and more susceptible to cleavage. This impacts all scientists who use MS/MS for structural elucidation in that quantum chemistry can now be used a tool in assignment of ion structures. I am pleased to have been able to make a real difference to UK science.

I loved every minute of my PhD, particularly the stimulating scientific discussions with my supervisor Professor Frank Pullen and computational chemistry expert Alexander Alex. I also enjoyed getting to grips with quantum chemistry.

Thanks to the support and encouragement of the staff in the Greenwich University Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Environmental Sciences, I managed to take my viva voce one day before the third anniversary of starting my research programme, passing with no changes required to my thesis and having published five research papers and two editorials. I am also grateful for the tolerance of my family who put up with me working all the time!


Patricia has since come to work at Keele University for ISTM in the breath analysis research group pioneered by Professor David Smith FRS.

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